Huskies Knock Down Lumberjacks to Stay Perfect
Sept. 14, 2008
PORTLAND, Ore. - Junior Veronica Perez scored her sixth goal of the season in the 56th minute and added an assist, giving the Washington women's soccer team a 3-1 victory over Northern Arizona Sunday on the final day of the Portland Nike Invitational at Merlo Field.
The victory gives the Huskies a 6-0-0 record this season, tied for the second-best start in program history. The 2000 team, which went on to win the program's only Pac-10 title, also started 6-0-0, while the 2004 team, which went on to make an Elite Eight run, started 8-0-0.
The Huskies came out of the gates fast when senior Melissa Beal (Portland, Ore.) scored a little over three minutes into the contest, knocking in her third goal of the season off a pass from Perez (San Mateo, Calif.).
Washington continued to dominate throughout the first half, out-shooting the Lumberjacks 13-3, but they were unable to capitalize after Beal's early goal as Northern Arizona goalkeeper Natasha Slaughter made eight first-half saves.
The Lumberjacks (2-5-1) then shocked the Huskies when Kristi Andreassen scored just five minutes into the second half to even the score. Andreassen re-directed the ball into the lower left corner after Sarah Vallen's shot caromed off the post.
The Huskies responded immediately, however, when Perez headed a pass from junior Alex Kirk (Monroe, Wash.) into the lower left corner in the 56th minute to score her sixth goal of the season and give UW back the lead.
Kirk (Edmonds, Wash.) then gave the Huskies some insurance just minutes later when she netted her second goal of the season - and second in as many games. After sophomore Hannah Greig's shot was saved by Slaughter, Kirk knocked in the rebound in the 61st minute to seal the victory for UW.
Junior Alex Phillips (Park City, Utah) made three saves in the match to improve her record to 5-0-0 on the season.
'We got the lead early and then relaxed a little bit and that is not the mentality we need to have, but after they tied it up we really started to pour it on,' Washington head coach Lesle Gallimore said. 'The goals we scored were great, Chelsea Bumbaugh and Jenna Robison were outstanding in the midfield and the back line and goalkeeping was great all weekend.'
Next week, Washington travels to face Purdue and #18 Illinois for their first true test of the season, looking to continue their perfect start.
'It's a crawl, not a sprint, even though we don't play many games. I still think we are far from being as good as we can be so we can't look too far ahead,' Gallimore said. 'But playing two games on the weekend in heat and at a neutral site is tough to do. My personal goal was to have this team at 6-0 but now we have to put it behind us and look to a difficult trip against a couple of very talented teams from a very good conference.
'I do think we are ready to take it up a notch,' Gallimore continued. 'Our team is not fearful of anyone. It's been fun but it's been six games so now we need to put it all together.'
The Huskies travel to West Lafayette, Ind., to take on Purdue on Friday, Sept. 19 at 2 p.m. PT followed by a battle with Illinois Sunday, Sept. 21 at 11 a.m. PT.
The Huskies have outscored their opponents 15-3 this season.
UW outshot the Lumberjacks 22-6 on Sunday to give them a 95-31 season advantage in that category.
Washington's 22 shots are their most since taking 24 in a win over Eastern Washington last season and their second-most since taking 31 shots in a two-overtime win over Oregon State in 2004.
UW has scored two or more goals in every game this season.
Perez has scored the game-winning goal in three of the Huskies' six wins this season
NCAA Women's Soccer
Merlo Field, Portland, Ore.
Sunday, Sept. 14, 2008
Washington 3, Northern Arizona 1
Scoring - 1, UW, Melissa Beal (Veronica Perez), 3:16. 2, NAU, Kristi Andreassen (Sarah Vallen), 50:54. 3, UW, Veronica Perez (Alex Kirk), 55:22. 4, UW, Alex Kirk (Hannah Greig), 60:41.
Shots - UW 22, NAU 6
Corners - UW 2, NAU 0
Saves - UW 3, NAU 9
Fouls - UW 7, NAU 10
Offsides - UW 0, NAU 4
Northern Arizona 2-5-1