'V-Magic' Returns As Huskies Pull Off Upset
Sept. 13, 2009
PORTLAND, Ore. - Two days after the Washington women's soccer team dropped a 1-0 heartbreaker to Miami on a goal in the 83rd minute, the Huskies turned the tables on No. 11 Illinois thanks to senior Veronica Perez, who scored the game-winning goal in the 83rd minute this time to give UW a 1-0 upset over the Illini in the Nike Portland Invitational.
Perez, who had a breakout season in 2008 with 13 goals including six game-winners, had been off to a slow start scoring-wise in 2009. But she broke out at the right time on Sunday, knocking in her second goal of the season with seven minutes remaining to give UW the big victory.
The Huskies improved to 4-2 with the win while Illinois dropped to 3-3-1.
'We knew how important today was after a game Friday that really got away from us. That loss stuck with us all day yesterday and you could see the team was really determined today,' Washington head coach Lesle Gallimore said. 'We saw a lot more leadership today than we have had in the past. Early on, we were solid again defensively and neither team was sharp so you just knew it was going to be one of those games where it was going to come down to one goal. Illinois is a big strong physical team and very fast but our kids fought hard. This was a pivotal win for us.'
The Huskies controlled the match for most of the first 80 minutes but were unable to break through. Perez had a shot that caromed off the inside of the right post and travelled back the length of the goal but didn't cross the line, UW's best chance to score in their first 10 shot opportunities.
Then with the clock winding down and the game seemingly headed to overtime, junior McKenna Waitley sent a through ball into Perez in front of the goal and the senior made a move to get past the goalkeeper, enabling her to easily foot the ball into the net.
'The kid has been doing everything she can to get a goal. There's a lot of pressure on her and the defense is sending more players at her,' Washington head coach Lesle Gallimore said of Perez. 'We're still trying to find the right combinations to take some pressure off her since Kellye Joswick went out with an injury and with Alex Webber, Jessie Young and Kelli Stewart filling in, that's a lot of pressure on some young players. It's been some trial and error but now we're getting into the heart of the season and we're starting to figure things out.'
Gallimore was also impressed over the weekend with the play in goal of the sophomore Davidson, who made some big plays on Friday despite the 1-0 loss and also came up with some big saves on Sunday. She made three saves against Illinois to record her first solo shutout of the season.
'Kari was outstanding this weekend with two back-to-back solid games,' Gallimore said. 'There were a couple of free kicks she went up and grabbed and a couple of driven balls that stuck in her hands and she looked confident. She was solid.'
The Huskies return home next week when they host Utah State on Friday, Sept. 18 at 7 p.m.
NCAA Women's Soccer - Nike Portland Invitational
Washington 1, Illinois 0
Merlo Field; Portland, Ore.