UW Women Embark on Final Soccer Road Trip

Oct. 26, 2006

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FRIDAY, OCTOBER 27 --
Washington at #3 UCLA, 6:00 p.m. PDT
Drake Stadium (11,700) / Los Angeles, Calif.

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 29 --
Washington at USC, 1:00 p.m. PDT
McAlister Field (1,000) / Los Angeles, Calif.

The Washington women's soccer team (6-10, 1-4 Pac-10) embarks on its final road trip of the 2006 season, traveling to Los Angeles. The two-game trip begins, Friday, Oct. 27 at third-ranked UCLA (14-2, 5-0). Kick-off is 6 p.m. at Drake Stadium. On Sunday, Oct. 29, the Huskies visit USC (8-3-4, 1-1-3) for a 1 p.m. game at McAlister Field. The Southern California swing has historically been the most difficult road trip for UW, which last won at USC in 2001 and at UCLA in 1995. Washington concludes the season at home next week, hosting Arizona on Nov. 3 and Arizona State on Nov. 5.

What's Up with Washington
The Huskies were swept at home last week by the Bay Area schools, losing 4-1 to California and 2-0 to Stanford. Sophomore forward Melissa Beal netted her team-leading fourth goal in the fifth minute, but UW went scoreless for the following 175 minutes of the weekend. UW features a balanced attack with nine different scorers, led by the four goals and three assists of Beal. She was the team's only multi-goal scorer last year with four. This year, Shuree Hyatt and Katy Dowling have joined her with two goals each. Both goals have been game winners for Hyatt, a transfer from USF who has not returned since suffering an injury the team's eighth game. Dowling netted the lone goal in the Sept. 22 victory over New Mexico.

Quoting UW Coach Lesle Gallimore
'It's a tough road trip. UCLA and `SC on the road any year is a tough trip. Coming off of two tough losses for us at home, it's even a little bit more ominous. There's nothing else to do, but just prepare and get ready to go and try to battle. UCLA is dangerous at home and they're potent in the attack. Lauren Cheney looks to be the runaway freshman of the year in our conference and for good reason, she's an outstanding player. Danesha Adams very well could be the conference player of the year. We're just hopeful that we can contain those two and keep them out of the back of our net. At the same time, we'd like to keep the ball against them and create some chances. USC has Amy Rodriquez, another national team player, up front and she's difficult to control. We've got two opponents who are going to get after us.'

This Week's Opponents
UCLA (14-2, 5-0 Pac-10) -- The third-ranked Bruins won their last eight games. Coach Jillian Ellis' squad was the NCAA runner-up each of the last two seasons and a Final Four qualifier the last three. UCLA is outscoring opponents by a 30-10 margin, paced by the 13 goals of freshman Lauren Cheney. Goalkeeper Valeria Henderson has a 0.58 goals against average and accounted for six of he team's 10 shutouts. The Bruins own a 9-2-1 series advantage over UW, including five straight wins. UCLA won a 4-0 decision last season in Los Angeles. Washington's last win over the Bruins was a 1-0 decision during 2000 in Seattle.

USC (8-3-4, 1-1-3 Pac-10) -- Coach Jim Millinder's Trojans are outscoring foes by a 22-7 margin utilizing a balanced attack. Rosa Anna Tantillo, Lauren Brown and Nini Loucks each have four goals. Goalkeeper Veronica Simonton has eight of the team's 11 shutouts and a 0.47 goals against average. Washington owns a 6-5-1 edge in the series. The Huskies five-game undefeated streak against USC was stopped last season with a 2-1 loss in L.A.

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

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.

Fast Fact
• Goalkeeper Kelsey Rasmussen has 17 career shutouts, one shy of the school record of 18 established by Hope Solo from 1999-2002.

2006 Outlook
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 (136) and conference wins (53). 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 168-131-26, including a 136-106-17 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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