Bennett's Golden Goal Lifts UW Women's Soccer Team

Oct. 28, 2001

SEATTLE - Reserve forward Melissa Bennett netted the game-winning goal in the sixth minute of overtime Sunday, lifting the 16th-ranked Washington women's soccer team to a 2-1 victory over Arizona State in front of a crowd of 763 at Husky Soccer Field.

The defending Pacific-10 Conference champion Huskies improved their record to 4-1 and 10-3-1 overall. Arizona State dropped to 2-4 in Pac-10 play and 8-8 overall. UW has played three overtime games this season, winning two and tying one.

Bennett's 'golden goal' ended the game at 95:46. She had her back to the goal when she received a throw-in from junior Megan McKinstry. Bennett spun around and struck a 15-yard shot that carried just inside the right post.

The goal was the second in as many games for the UW sophomore who also scored during Friday's 2-0 victory over Arizona. Bennett, who has three goals this season, started 10 games before playing as a reserve in the last three games.

'Megan made a good decision and found me with the throw-in. I just turned and had an opening, so I took it,' Bennett described. 'This is a huge confidence builder. I've been struggling all season, so it's awesome to be able to come out this weekend and get some goals.'

A prolific prep scorer, Bennett amassed a Washington state record 166 career goals at Seattle Christian High School.

'Melissa knows how much faith we have in her and how much we expect from her,' said Washington coach Lesle Gallimore. 'She was a little frustrated and disappointed by her first half of the season. We challenged her kind by putting her in a reserve role in which she has to take advantage of the minutes that she gets. Between Friday and today, she has clearly shown that she is a good player and a great finisher.'

Junior defender Vanessa Pierce opened the scoring for Washington midway through the second half. She blasted a 22-yard free kick into the upper left corner at 77:47. Freshman Nicole Martinez made a long run with the ball and earned the free kick on a foul just outside the box. Arizona State's Amy LePeilbet was charged with the foul and also drew a yellow card on the play.

The Sun Devils equalized at 81:05 on a 40-yard free kick from the right side by Antoinette Marjanovic. The ball carried across the goal mouth and into the lower left corner. ASU's Stephanie Peel narrowly missed a chance to re-direct the shot right in front of the goal. Instead, Peel's attempt drew the attention of Husky goalkeeper Hope Solo, enabling the ball to trickle into the net.

Solo saved two shots while Sun Devil goalkeeper Kelly Fitzgerald had three saves.

The Huskies had two other dangerous scoring opportunities. Freshman Tina Frimpong had a one-on-one with the goalkeeper in the 29th minute, but shot just wide. Martinez hit the crossbar with a shot in the 68th minute.

Washington takes its final regular-season road trip next weekend with two games in Los Angeles. The Huskies meet fourth-ranked UCLA on Friday (Nov. 2) and USC on Sunday (Nov. 4).

NCAA Women's Soccer
#16 Washington 2, Arizona State 1 (ot)
Husky Soccer Field, Seattle, Wash.

Scoring--1, UW, Vanessa Pierce, 77:47. 2, ASU, Antoinette Marjanovic, 81:05. 3, UW, Melissa Bennett (Megan McKinstry), 95:46.

Shots - ASU 12, UW 12.
Saves - ASU 3 (Kelly Fitzgerald), UW 2 (Hope Solo).
Corner Kicks - ASU 2, UW 1.
Attendance - 763.

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