Pac-10 Play Begins on the Road for Washington Women

Oct. 4, 2006

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SUNDAY, OCTOBER 8 --
Washington at Washington State, 12:00 p.m. PDT
Lower Soccer Field (2,000) / Pullman, Wash.

The Washington women's soccer team (5-6) begins Pacific-10 Conference play on the road this weekend, traveling to Pullman for a Sunday, Oct. 8 clash with Washington State. Kick-off is noon at Lower Soccer Field on the WSU campus. That is the second of four straight road games for the Huskies, who visit Oregon next week for a pair of Pac-10 games.

What's Up with Washington
The Huskies feature a balanced attack with seven different scorers, led by the three goals and three assists of sophomore forward Melissa Beal. Last year, Beal was the team's only multi-goal scorer with four. This year, Shuree Hyatt and Katy Dowling have joined her with two goals each. Both goals have been game winners for Hyatt who is playing in her first season as a Husky after transferring from the University of San Francisco. Dowling netted the lone goal in the Sept. 22 victory over New Mexico.

Close Encounters
The Huskies have three one-goal victories, one year after they were winless (0-17-3) and on the losing end of 13 one-goal margins in 2005.

Last Week
Washington lost a 5-0 decision to defending national champion and fourth-ranked Portland on Sept. 29 to start a four-game stretch of road games.

Scouting Washington State (5-3-2)
The Cougars play at Portland on Thursday (Oct. 5) before hosting UW. Eight different players have scored goals for Coach Matt Potter's squad. WSU is led by the two goals and four assists of Carly Dobratz. Goalkeepers Amber Wittmers and Brynn Bemis combined for four shutouts and a 0.75 goals against average. The Huskies own a 7-6-2 edge in the series, despite a 2-4-2 record in Pullman where they have not won a game since 1996. WSU won last year's meeting 1-0 in Seattle.

Youth Movement
Seven members of Washington's starting lineup are underclassmen, including four freshmen. Six of the 18 players who competed in a game this season are first-year Huskies and five of those have started at least once. Four freshmen are regulars in Coach Lesle Gallimore's starting lineup, including forward Veronica Perez-Murillo who netted her first collegiate goal Sept. 17 at Ohio State. Freshman Chelsea Bumbaugh starts in the midfield while Lindsey Kasser and Nikki Murray are defensive starters.

Quoting UW Coach Lesle Gallimore
'In our first 11 games we had good results and bad results, but we've gained some great experience. We've played against a lot of really high caliber teams. If we can put 90 minutes together where we play our best then we're in every game that we play. We can beat teams, there's no doubt about that. We've been all about improvement. I certainly think there have been a lot of areas of our game that we have improved in if you look at all 11 games. But, just over our last three or four games we still need to look at creating and finishing more of our chances. We need to be a more potent team in front of goal and give our team a chance to get ahead in games as opposed to having to battle back from behind.'

On the start of Pac-10 play: 'We're excited to get the conference season started. If we take all the positives from our first 11 games and throw them towards conference play, realizing that this conference is wide open, then it's exciting. Having seen all those teams last year and being in all those games that we were in, we know that we were competitive, but should have had results in some of the matches that we played in conference last year. Hopefully that will bode well for us this year. We know every conference game is a battle. Our first three games are on the road, which is our biggest challenge. Trying to get out of the conference starting blocks with a win is key for us.'

Kelsey the `Keeper
Anchoring UW's defense is senior goalkeeper Kelsey Rasmussen (Gig Harbor, Wash./Bellarmine Prep) who has taken part in four shutouts this season. A three-year starter, Rasmussen compiled a 1.41 career goals against average, the No. 6 mark in Husky history. She has 16 shutouts and 242 saves, figures that both rank No. 3 in the UW annals. Rasmussen posted a UW season record 10 shutouts in 2004 along with a 1.13 goals against average while playing every minute. She was credited with 13 saves against Hofstra on Aug. 28, 2005, one shy of the school single-game record of 14. Rasmussen played 4,731 minutes over the last three seasons, sitting out only 62 minutes during that span.

Notable
• The Huskies finished non-conference play with a 5-6 record, a drastic improvement from last season's 0-8-3 mark.

• UW was winless in Pac-10 games last season, but seven losses came by one-goal, including six 1-0 setbacks. UW ended 2005 with 1-0 losses to the three Pac-10 foes it opens with in 2006.

• UW has scored 11 goals through 11 games, eclipsing last season's entire output of eight.

• Nine of this year's 20 UW opponents competed in the 2005 NCAA Tournament, including championship game competitors Portland and UCLA. UW plays five of last year's Sweet 16 squads.

• Coach Lesle Gallimore is in her 13th season at UW. She ranks No. 2 among Pac-10 coaches in both overall (135) and conference (52) victories.

2006 Preview
Washington returns eight starters from last year's team, including a quartet of players that started all 20 games. Seniors Cathy Roe (University Place, Wash./Curtis/Penn) and Shaela Ward (Lacey, Wash./North Thurston) play in the middle of a defense that limited 12 opponents to just one goal last year. They are supported by senior Kelsey Rasmussen (Gig Harbor, Wash./Bellarmine Prep), a three-year starting goalkeeper. The midfield features junior Dani Bridges (Maple Valley, Wash./Tahoma) who started every game in her first two collegiate campaigns. Also returning is leading scorer and part-time starter Melissa Beal (Portland, Ore./St. Mary's) who netted a goal in each of the team's spring games. A cadre of newcomers will battle for playing time, including a talented five-player freshman class. The offense is bolstered by the addition of junior Shuree Hyatt (Kent, Wash/Kentlake), a transfer who tallied eight goals in each of her two seasons at San Francisco.

2005 Review
One season after advancing within one game of the Final Four, the Huskies (0-17-3) last year suffered through the first winless season in program history. All but four games were decided by a one-goal margin for UW, which lost 10 games by similar 1-0 scores.

The Head Coach
The 'Dean of Pac-10 Coaches,' Lesle Gallimore ranks No. 2 on the Pac-10 coaching charts in all-time victories (135) and conference wins (52). She directed UW to eight NCAA Tournament appearances, including an NCAA quarterfinal berth in 2004. Gallimore was named the Pac-10 Coach of the Year and National Coach of the Year by Soccer Buzz in 2000 after her Huskies posted an 18-3 record, won the Pac-10 title, received the No. 2 seed for the NCAAs and advanced to the Sweet 16. Gallimore has a 17-year record of 167-127-26, including a 135-102-17 mark in 13 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 11th-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 fourth 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.

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