First-Place Huskies Host Second-Place L.A. Schools in Women's Soccer Showdown

Oct. 16, 2000

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Fri., Oct. 20 -
#6 UW vs. #12 USC, 7:00 p.m. PDT

Sun., Oct. 22 -
#6 UW vs. #7 UCLA, 12 noon PST (Fox Sports Northwest TV)

Both Games at Husky Soccer Field, Seattle, Wash.

In the midst of a school-record seven game winning streak, the sixth-ranked Washington women's soccer team (13-1, 4-0) seeks to maintain its grip on first place in the Pacific-10 Conference while hosting two top contenders. The Huskies entertain No. 12 USC (10-1-2, 2-0-1) on Friday, Oct. 20 at 7 p.m. No. 7 UCLA (11-1-1, 2-0-1) visits on Sunday, Oct. 22 at noon. Both games will be played at Husky Soccer Field where UW won its last 10 games. This weekend will have major Pac-10 championship implications as the Trojans and Bruins are tied for second place, just behind Washington. The Huskies, who have never won the Pac-10 title, posted their best conference finish of second in 1996. Washington, which competed in four of the last six NCAA Tournaments, is seeking to return to the Tournament after a one-year absence. UW's schedule was rated among the nation's 10 most difficult in each of the last five years and this season is no different as eight foes are currently ranked.

TV Coverage:
Friday's game between Washington and UCLA will be televised on a delayed basis by Fox Sports Net Northwest. The game airs, Monday, Oct. 23 at 3 p.m. Bob Akamian calls the action with color commentary from Alan Hinton.

Quotable: Comments from Coach Lesle Gallimore
'We're in first place by ourselves, that puts a bullseye on our backs. Our only goal this season was to finish in the top three in the Pac-10 and that would guarantee a spot in the NCAA Tournament. Obviously our goals have shifted. Now we're looking to vie for the top spot. This will be a difficult weekend, but we like our chances at home. USC is very fast and always physically tough. We're not going to look forward to UCLA until we see what USC has for us first.'

Lofty No. 6 Ranking:
The Huskies remained sixth in this week's (Oct. 16) American Soccer Writers' poll. That is the highest ranking ever for the UW booters. They received a No. 17 ranking on Sept. 5 that was their first mention in the national polls since Sept. 9, 1996. Other UW rankings- Soccer America (3rd), Soccer Times (4th) and Soccer Buzz (6th).

UW vs. Ranked Foes:
Half of Washington's games (7 of 14) have been against ranked opponents. The Huskies have a 17-46-5 all-time record against ranked teams, including a 6-1 mark this season. They lost to then-No. 2 Notre Dame and have defeated Santa Clara (3), California (9), Stanford (12), BYU (17), Portland (21) and Arizona State (21).

(#12) USC (10-1-2, 2-0-1 pending a game Wednesday at Santa Clara):
Fifth-year coach Jim Millinder's 12th-ranked Trojans have outscored opponents 29-10. USC features a balanced attack with 10 players scoring at least once led by the six goals of Jessica Edwards. The goalkeeping tandem of Lauren Arase and Shaelyn Fernandes has combined for five shutouts and a 0.72 goals against average. The Trojans hold a slim 3-2 series edge over UW, including a 2-1 victory last season in Los Angeles. Megan Orach and Christy Callier each scored inside the opening 12 minutes to spark USC in last year's meeting.

(#7) UCLA (11-1-1, 2-0-1 pending a game Friday at Washington State):
The seventh-ranked Bruins, led by second-year coach Jillian Ellis, are outscoring opponents by a remarkable 47-4 tally. Goalkeeper CiCi Peterson has nine shutouts and a 0.34 goals against average. Tracey Milburn leads the UCLA offense with 11 goals. Milburn scored the tying goal with 0:25 left in regulation last year in Los Angeles as UCLA and UW battled to a 3-3 draw. The Bruins own a 4-1-1 series advantage. The lone Husky victory was a 2-1 decision at UCLA during 1995 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

o Washington has put together a seven-game winning streak, the longest in its 10-year history.

o Senior forward Tami Bennett has established new UW school records for goals in a career (31) and season (13).

o The Huskies already have 13 victories, tying the school record set by the 1994 UW squad. They have five regular-season games left to play.

o The Huskies have already amassed 41 goals, nine more than the 32 they netted all last season. The Washington single-season scoring record is 44, an average of 2.2 goals per game. The current team is scoring at a 2.9 goals-per-game clip.

o Arizona's second half goal on Sunday marked only the third time Washington has trailed all season.

Sibling Rivalry:
Washington's roster features a pair of prolific-scoring sisters, Tami and Melissa Bennett. Tami, a senior, owns the UW school records for goals in a career (31) and season (13). She amassed 152 career goals at Seattle Christian High School to pry the state prep scoring record from U.S. National Team standout Michelle Akers. Melissa, a freshman, took that prep record away from Tami last spring by completing her career at Seattle Christian with 166 goals. Tami currently leads the Huskies with 13 goals. Melissa ranks fourth among Huskies with four goals, one more than Tami scored as a freshman. On Oct. 11 both sisters were named to the Soccer America Team of the Week after Tami scored the game-winning goal in a 1-0 win over Stanford and Melissa had the game-winner in a 2-1 win over Cal.

Last UW Game -- (#6) UW 2, Arizona 1 (Oct. 15, Tucson, Ariz.):
Senior Tami Bennett scored back-to-back goals within a two-minute span late in the second half Sunday to break the Washington single-season scoring record and rally the sixth-ranked Huskies to a 2-1 victory over Arizona at Murphey Stadium. Washington (13-1, 4-0) extended its winning streak to a school-record seven games. After a scoreless first half, Arizona (3-9-2, 0-3-1) took the lead in the 59th minute on a goal by Twila Kaufman from six yards out. Liz Bartlett assisted on the goal at 58:26 that put Washington behind for only the third time all year. Bennett evened the score 18 minutes later. She intercepted a poor clearance attempt by a Wildcat defender and fired an 18-yard blast into the net at 76:12. Less than two minutes after that goal, at 78:48, Bennett scored again. She parlayed a corner kick from Theresa Wagner into a 10-yard header for her 13th goal of the season to break the school record of 12 set by Tara Bilanski in 1995. Wagner's assist was her eighth, giving her the school single-season record. The graduate of Seattle's Lakeside High School is also the Huskies' career assist leader with 22. Sophomore goalkeeper Hope Solo (Richland HS) registered three saves, including a brilliant denial late in the game that preserved the victory. Shannon Monti had five saves for Arizona which was outshot 29-11.

Home Sweet Home:
For the fourth year, all Washington home games will be played on campus at the 1,800-seat Husky Soccer Field. The facility is located north of Husky Stadium on the southeast corner of the Montlake Boulevard parking lot. A new twist in 2000 is the addition of lights, enabling Washington to play four of its seven home games at night (7:00 p.m.). The Huskies won their last 10 games at Husky Soccer Field where they averaged 1,201 spectators during 1999, the 11th-highest attendance figure in the nation.

2000 Season Husky Highlights:
Aug. 26 - Erupted for school record for goals and scoring margin in season-opening 8-0 win over Eastern Washington. Tami Bennett has hat trick and Theresa Wagner sets school single-game record with four assists.

Aug. 29 - Beat No. 17 Brigham Young 1-0 in first ever night game at Husky Soccer Field.

Sept. 4 - Upset No. 3 Santa Clara 2-1 to snap the Broncos 32-game home winning streak. Santa Clara also had its streak of 45 consecutive regular-season wins stopped.

Sept. 8-10 - Won the Michigan Nike Invitational title by beating Michigan and Ohio State.

Sept. 23 - Beat No. 21 Portland for the first time ever, 2-1 at Merlo Field.

Oct. 6-8 - Swept the Bay Area schools for the first time, beating No. 12 Stanford (1-0) and No. 9 Cal (2-1) in Seattle. Tami and Melissa Bennett each tally a game-winner.

Oct. 13 - Defeated No. 21 Arizona State 2-1 for the sixth win over a ranked opponent.

Oct. 15 - Won 2-1 at Arizona to extend a school-record seven-game winning streak and register a UW record-tying 13th victory.

Strenuous Schedule:
Washington's schedule ranked among the nation's top-10 most difficult each of the last five years. This year's schedule is no different. Nine opponents on the 2000 Husky schedule participated in the 1999 NCAA Tournament, including Final Four qualifiers Notre Dame and Santa Clara. Eight UW foes are ranked in the current American Soccer Writers' poll, including No. 1 Notre Dame, UCLA (7), California (11), USC (12), Portland (13), Santa Clara (14), Brigham Young (15) and Stanford (17). USC and UCLA will be the eighth and ninth UW foes ranked at the time of the game. The Huskies are 6-1 against ranked opponents.

2000 Preview:
Optimism is high for the Washington women's soccer team that finished with a flurry in 1999, posting a 4-1-2 record over its final seven games. Eight starters return from that team, including the top three scorers, both goalkeepers and 1999 Pac-10 Defender of the Year Andrea Morelli. Senior Theresa Wagner led the team with nine goals, four of them game-winners. Her team-leading seven assists were matched by junior Caroline Putz who added seven goals. Senior Tami Bennett had six goals and four assists. Any foe getting past the Morelli-anchored defense must confront sophomore goalkeeper Hope Solo who played with the U.S. National Team during the spring and summer in pursuit of an Olympic team berth. She is joined by senior Leslie Weeks, who compiled nine career shutouts and a 1.45 goals against average, to form the finest goalkeeping tandem in the Pac-10. An outstanding group of newcomers includes Washington state prep scoring leader Melissa Bennett and Salt Lake City, Utah product Dana Dibble, a pair of Gatorade State Players of the Year. Washington's freshmen group was rated the nation's 25th best recruiting class by the Soccer Buzz website.

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