No. 2 Seed UW Hosts Portland in Third-Round NCAA Women's Soccer Action

Nov. 14, 2000

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Sun, Nov. 19 -
#2 Washington vs. Portland, 12 noon PST (NCAA 3rd Round)
Husky Soccer Field, Seattle, Wash.

Nov. 24, 25 or 26 -
Winner vs. Dartmouth/Penn State winner, TBA
NCAA Quarterfinal Round at site to be determined

If UW hosts Quarterfinal - Sat., Nov. 25, 12 noon, Husky Soccer Field, Seattle, Wash.

The Pac-10 champion Washington women's soccer team (18-2) competes in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament for the first time ever, hosting Northwest nemesis Portland (16-3) on Sunday, Nov. 19. Kick-off for the third-round matchup is noon at Husky Soccer Field where the Huskies have won their last 13 games, including all eight games this season. Both teams had first-round byes before winning second-round home games. The Huskies defeated Montana 5-0 on Sunday and 14th-ranked Portland beat Arizona State 3-1 on Saturday. Washington is the No. 2 seed in the tournament and is making its fifth NCAA appearance in the last seven seasons. The Huskies won an earlier meeting this season, winning 2-1 at Portland on Sept. 23. That win was UW's first ever in the series, stopping a 10-game losing streak against the Pilots. Portland leads the series 10-1-1, including a pair of 1-0 decisions in NCAA Tournament encounters in 1995 and 1996. The winner of Sunday's game advances to the Elite Eight to play the winner of Friday's game involving Dartmouth (14-4) at Penn State (21-2-1). One of the competing teams will host the quarterfinal game on either Nov. 24, 25 or 26. If Washington wins and is selected to host at Husky Soccer Field, the game will be played on Saturday, Nov. 25 at noon.

Huskies in the NCAA:
No. 2 seed Washington played 12 games against opponents from the 48-team NCAA Tournament field, posting a 10-2 record. The lone UW defeats came against top-seed Notre Dame and Washington State. Only the top eight tournament teams were seeded into the pairings. The other seed in Washington's bracket, and a potential quarterfinal round opponent, is No. 7 Penn State (21-2-1). The Huskies have a 3-3-1 all-time record in NCAA Tournament play and have advanced to the third round for the first time. UW reached the second round twice before. In the second round of the 1994 NCAAs the Huskies tied 0-0 at Stanford, but the Cardinal advanced on the strength of a 6-5 edge in the penalty-kick tie-breaker. Washington lost a 1-0 second-round decision at Portland in 1995.

Tournament Tidbits:
Referred to as the 'College Cup,' the NCAA women's soccer tournament is a 48-team, single-elimination playoff. As Pac-10 champions, the Huskies received an automatic postseason berth and one of 16 first-round byes. They are making their fifth NCAA appearance in the last seven seasons. The 48-team field was pared down to 32 after 16 first-round games on Wednesday and now stands at 16 after games last weekend. The Final Four is scheduled for Dec. 1 and 3 at Spartan Stadium in San Jose, Calif.

Fast Facts:
o Washington competes in the NCAA Tournament for the fifth time in the last seven years (1994, 1995, 1996, 1998, 2000).

o The Huskies set team records this season for wins (18, old mark 13 in 1994), Pac-10 wins (8, old mark 6 in 1998), winning streak (11, old mark 6 in 1998) and goals scored (56, old mark 44 in 1995).

o Sophomore GK Hope Solo allowed only two goals in her last 579 minutes.

Quotes from Coach Lesle Gallimore:
'We expect a great game. It's going to be kind of a chess game to see who flinches. But, we know what they are all about and we are confident in our ability if we go out and play the way we are capable of playing. We are going to give them all they can handle. We have the ability to attack and score on them. If we can play solid defense, the way we've been playing, it should be a very good game.'

Portland (16-3):
Coach Clive Charles' 14th-ranked Pilots are on a mission after being left out of the NCAA Tournament field last year for the first time since 1991. They are perennial NCAA contenders who have reached the semifinals four times (1994, '95, '96, '98), including a championship game appearance in 1995. After a first-round bye in the 2000 tournament, UP defeated Arizona State 3-1 at home on Saturday to advance to the third round. Portland has outscored opponents 57-8 led by the 13 goals of Vanessa Talbott. Emily Patterson has distributed a team-leading 10 assists. UP goalkeeper Cheryl Loveless has 11 shutouts and a 0.55 goals against average. Portland leads the all-time series 10-1-1. The inaugural meeting between these Northwest rivals, in 1991, resulted in a 1-1 tie. The Pilots won the next 10 meetings capped by a 2-1 victory last year in Seattle. Washington posted its first win over Portland earlier this season on Sept. 23, winning 2-1 at Merlo Field behind goals from Erin Otagaki and Tami Bennett. The Pilots twice eliminated Washington from the NCAA Tournament, winning by 1-0 tallies during 1995 and 1996 in Portland.

Sibling Rivalry:
Washington's roster features a pair of prolific-scoring sisters, Tami and Melissa Bennett. Tami, a senior, owns several UW school records, including career (34) and single-season (16) goals along with single-season points (36). Tami 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 16 goals. Melissa ranks fourth among Huskies with five goals, two more than Tami scored as a freshman. On Oct. 11 both sisters were named to Soccer America magazine's Team of the Week after Tami scored the game-winning goal in a 1-0 win over 12th-ranked Stanford and Melissa had the game-winner in a 2-1 win against No. 9 California. Both Bennetts scored a goal in the NCAA second-round win over Montana.

Sensational Solo:
All-America candidate Hope Solo is Washington's standout sophomore shot-stopper. The Richland (Wash.) High School product was named the first-team All-Pac-10 goalkeeper on Nov. 7. Solo is one of the finest 'keepers in the nation, not just among collegians. She played two international games this summer with the U.S. National Team and was one of four goalkeepers in the training pool for the Olympic team. Solo surrendered only five goals in nine Pac-10 contests, no more than one in any game. She has six shutouts and a 0.75 goals against average. She registered a season-high 12 saves at Washington State on Nov. 3. Her presence between the posts has been pivotal for the Huskies who have won 10 games by one-goal margins. Solo has surrendered only two goals in her last 579 minutes in goal.

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. The Huskies have played a remarkable one-quarter of the NCAA Tournament field as 12 UW opponents qualified for postseason play. Nine UW foes were ranked at the time of the game, including Notre Dame (2), Santa Clara (3), UCLA (7), Cal (9), USC (12), Stanford (12), BYU (17), Arizona State (21) and Portland (21).

Home Sweet Home:
Husky Soccer Field hosts its second NCAA Tournament women's soccer game on Sunday. The fourth-year facilities' seating capacity was expanded for the tournament from 1,800 to 2,300 with the addition of a 500-seat grandstand in the west end. The field is located north of Husky Stadium on the southeast corner of the Montlake Boulevard parking lot. A new twist in 2000 was the addition of lights, enabling Washington to play four of its seven home games at night. The Huskies won their last 13 games at Husky Soccer Field, including all eight games this season. UW averaged 1,498 fans at home this year, including a school-record 3,403 turnout Oct. 22 against UCLA. Last season's average of 1,201 spectators was the 11th-highest attendance figure in the nation.

Last Meeting -- (#13) UW 2, (#21) Portland 1 (Sept. 23, 2000, Portland): Senior
Tami Bennett assisted on the first goal and then scored the game-winner Saturday as 13th-ranked Washington snapped a 10-game losing streak against No. 21 Portland with a 2-1 victory at Merlo Field. The Huskies (8-1) recorded their first ever win against the Pilots after coming away with a tie and 10 losses in the previous 11 meetings. Sophomore goalkeeper Hope Solo literally saved the game for the Huskies who were outshot 19-12. She registered 10 saves, including several diving stops that denied point-blank Portland scoring chances. Cheryl Loveless had six saves for the Pilots (7-2) who surrendered as many goals to the Huskies as they did against their first eight opponents combined. Junior Erin Otagaki opened the scoring in the 32nd minute, giving Washington a 1-0 lead it would maintain through the first half. Otagaki capitalized on a miscommunication among three UP defenders, accepting a centering pass from Bennett in front of the goal and depositing it into the net at 31:14. Bennett pushed the lead to 2-0 with an unassisted goal at 50:29. The Seattle Christian High School product gained possession of the ball behind the Pilot defense and beat Loveless with a shot to the near post. It was the 26th career goal for Bennett, drawing her within one of Tara Bilanski's (1992-95) Washington scoring record of 27. Portland drew within 2-1 at 73:34 on an Erin Misaki header off a Lauren Orlandos cross. The Huskies denied every UP scoring opportunity over the final 16 minutes sparked by Solo's stellar goalkeeping.

UW vs. Ranked Foes:
Nearly half of Washington's games (9 of 20) have been against ranked opponents. The Huskies have a 19-46-5 all-time record against ranked teams, including an 8-1 mark this season. They lost to then-No. 2 and now top-ranked Notre Dame and have defeated Santa Clara (#3), UCLA (#7), California (#9), Stanford (#12), USC (#12), BYU (#17), Portland (#21) and Arizona State (#21).

Last Game -- (2) UW 5, Montana 0, NCAA 2nd Round (Nov. 12, Seattle):
Defender Vanessa Pierce scored two goals on Sunday, helping No. 2 seed Washington to a 5-0 second-round victory over Montana in front of 2,308 spectators who witnessed the first ever NCAA Tournament women's soccer game at Husky Soccer Field. Pac-10 champion Washington (18-2) advances to the NCAA third round for the first time ever. Montana (16-5-1) had a nine-game winning streak snapped. Freshman Melissa Bennett opened the scoring in the 11th minute. She ran on to a long through ball from Theresa Wagner and pushed a low 12-yard shot into the net at 10:38. Her sister, senior Tami Bennett, tallied the second goal on an eight-yard shot at the right post off a pass from Katie Goodeve at 17:14. That was the school-record 16th goal of the season for Tami who also owns the UW career mark with 34 goals. Pierce scored the next two goals. She lofted a 25-yard free kick into the left corner of the net at 34:21 to put UW ahead 3-0 at halftime. Pierce fired an 18-yard shot inside the right post at 55:30 off a pass from Wagner who increased her school-record assist totals to 12 this season and 26 for her career. Pierce nearly had a hat trick, but her header into the goal off a corner kick in the 21st minute was disallowed by a foul. Freshman Jaime Carstensen capped the scoring with her first collegiate goal. She lofted a 20-yard shot that brushed the underside of the crossbar on its way into the goal at 82:52. Goalkeeper Hope Solo saved four shots for the Huskies en route to her sixth shutout. Solo has surrendered only two goals in her last 579 minutes in goal. Natalie Hiller had eight saves for Montana which was outshot 25-12.

Pac-10 Pride:
Washington is the first school from outside the state of California to capture the Pac-10 women's soccer championship. Winning the conference championship is an even more remarkable feat when considering that the Pac-10 is the nation's toughest league in the eyes of the selection committee. Seven Pac-10 teams earned NCAA bids, including three of the top eight seeds. UCLA (15-3-1) earned a No. 6 seed and California (17-2-1) was No. 8. The Atlantic Coast Conference had six teams in the tournament field, including No. 3 seed Clemson (17-2-1) and No. 5 seed North Carolina (16-3), the defending national champion. 'Obviously the Pac-10 is the strongest conference in the country this year getting seven teams in the tournament,' UW coach Lesle Gallimore remarked. 'For us to be at the forefront of that group of teams is something which we are very, very proud of. It's something that these kids, especially our seniors, have worked hard for.'

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