UW Women Open 2005 Soccer Season

Aug. 23, 2005

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Jeffrey Field (3,500) • University Park, Pa.

Hofstra vs. #9 Connecticut, 2:00 p.m. PDT
Washington at #6 Penn State, 4:30 p.m. PDT

Washington vs. Hofstra, 9:00 a.m. PDT
#9 Connecticut vs. #6 Penn State, 11:30 a.m. PDT

The Washington women's soccer team kicks off its 15th season of play this weekend, traveling to University Park, Pa. for the Penn State Soccer Classic. The four-team tournament, featuring two ranked teams, takes place on Friday, Aug. 26 and Sunday, Aug. 28 at Jeffrey Field. Ninth-ranked Connecticut meets Hofstra in Friday's opener at 2 p.m. Pacific Time while Washington and No. 6 Penn State clash in the nightcap at 4:30 p.m. PST (7:30 EST). The teams trade opponents for Sunday's action that begins at 9 a.m. PST with a Washington-Hofstra contest followed by a UConn-Penn State matchup at 11:30 a.m.

2004 Recap -- A Remarkable Run
The 2004 team posted a 17-5-1 record and advanced deeper into the NCAA Tournament bracket than any Washington team ever. The Huskies won three playoff games, reaching the quarterfinals before losing 3-1 at Princeton to fall one game shy of the Final Four. UW featured the Pac-10's first two-time Player of the Year award recipient, Tina Frimpong. She completed her UW career as the school's all-time leader in goals (43), game-winning goals (18) and total points (99). The Huskies finished third in the 2004 Pac-10 standings with a 5-3-1 record.

Youth Movement
The UW women's soccer roster has undergone a major makeover. Just eight letterwinners return (four starters) and forward Kim Taylor comprises a senior-class of one. She is joined by five juniors who are outnumbered by 20 underclassmen. Sixteen players have never before seen game action for the Huskies, including 12 freshmen.

Quoting the Coach
'The key is a rapid rate of maturation. We need to go from pups to dogs,' exclaims Coach Lesle Gallimore. 'I have never faced a year more challenging as a coach than the 2005 season is going to be. Not even when I started a new program with San Diego State and not when I first came here and took over. There has never been a year like this year and I can say that ahead of time. What a tremendous group we lost.'

Terrific Taylor
Senior forward Kim Taylor was an honorable mention All-Pac-10 selection in each of the last two seasons. She should be in line for even more honors in 2005. Taylor ranked third among Huskies with 18 total points last season. She tied for top team honors with six assists and was third with six goals. Taylor has a flair for the dramatic as nine of her 19 career goals were game-winners, including five last season. She is within striking distance of several schools records. Taylor ranks No. 5 among all-time UW playmakers with 19 career assists. The school record of 29 is held by Melissa Bennett (2000-03). She ranks third on the career game-winning assists list with nine. The Husky record of 11 was established by Caroline Putz (1998-2001). Taylor has 19 career goals, ranking No. 7 at UW.

This Week's Opponents
Penn State (19-3-1 in 2004)
-- The sixth-ranked Nittany Lions are coming off their 10th straight NCAA Tournament appearance. Coach Paula Wilkins compiled a 78-13-6 record in four years at PSU. The Nittany Lions return three All-Americans, including 2004 Hermann Trophy runner-up Tiffany Weimer who amassed 26 goals and 12 assists last year. Washington won both previous meetings with Penn State, including a 2-1 result in Seattle during the 2003 season opener. The Huskies won 5-0 in 1995, also in Seattle.

Hofstra (13-3-3 in 2004) -- Sunday marks the first ever meeting between the Pride and Washington. Hofstra won the Colonial Athletic Association regular season title in each of the last two seasons, but was left out of the NCAA Tournament both years. JoAnne Russell enters her 13th year as head coach, having compiled a 124-84-15 record. The Pride feature senior goalkeeper Becky Wachsberger, a fourth-year starter with a career goals against average of 0.66.

• Three of the four Penn State Soccer Classic participants competed in the 2004 NCAA Tournament (Washington, Connecticut, Penn State).

• Lesle Gallimore begins her 12th season as UW's coach. She is the all-time leader among Pac-10 coaches in overall (130) and conference (52) wins.

• Nine of this year's 20 UW opponents are ranked in the preseason Soccer America poll, including three of the top 10 teams. Ten UW foes competed in the 2004 NCAA Tournament, including national championship game competitor UCLA.

Kelsey the `Keeper
Anchoring a revamped UW defense is junior goalkeeper Kelsey Rasmussen (Gig Harbor, Wash./Bellarmine Prep). A two-year starter, Rasmussen boasts a 1.02 career goals against average, the top mark in Husky history. She has 13 shutouts, the third-best career figure in the UW annals. Rasmussen posted a school single-season record 10 shutouts in 2004 along with a 1.13 goals against average while playing every minute. She had a string of five consecutive shutouts last year that included UW's first three NCAA Tournament outings. Her steady play will be relied upon by the Huskies who will field an entirely new defense in front of her.

The Head Coach
The 'Dean of Pac-10 Coaches,' Lesle Gallimore has steadily transformed Washington into one of the nation's premier programs since her hiring in 1994. Gallimore stands atop the Pac-10 coaching charts in all-time victories (130) and conference wins (52). Last season, she directed UW to its eighth NCAA Tournament appearance. The Huskies made their first foray into the NCAA quarterfinals after winning three straight postseason games. Gallimore posted her 100th UW victory on Oct. 13, 2003 at Oregon State. The 2000 Pac-10 Coach of the Year led UW to the NCAA Tournament in eight of her previous 11 seasons. Gallimore was named the 2000 National Coach of the Year by Soccer Buzz after her Huskies posted an 18-3 record, won the Pac-10 title, received the No. 2 seed for the NCAA Tournament and advanced to the Sweet 16. Gallimore has a 14-year record of 162-104-23, including a 130-79-15 mark in 12 seasons at UW. Prior to coaching the Huskies, Gallimore compiled a 32-25-9 record in four seasons at San Diego State.

The Staff
Lesle Gallimore's staff includes 10th-year Associate Head Coach Amy Griffin (previously Allmann), a goalkeeper with the 1991 U.S. World Cup championship team who previously was the head coach at New Mexico. Assistant Coach Tami Bennett is in her third year on the staff after two seasons at Portland State. Bennett concluded her collegiate career in 2000 as Washington's all-time scoring leader with 34 goals. Also on the staff is volunteer coach Michelle French, a former University of Portland and U.S. National Team standout.

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