UW Hosts Women's Soccer Tournament This Weekend

Sept. 16, 2002

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Husky Soccer Field (2,100); Seattle, Wash.

Friday, September 20
-- UC Irvine vs. #5 Portland, 4:30 p.m. PDT
-- #21 Washington vs. Harvard, 7:00 p.m. PDT

Sunday, September 22
-- Harvard vs. #5 Portland, 11:00 a.m. PDT
-- #21 Washington vs. UC Irvine, 1:30 p.m. PDT

The 21st-ranked Washington women's soccer team (3-2-1) seeks to halt a three-game winless streak this weekend as it hosts the eighth-annual Husky/Nike Invitational. The Huskies meet Harvard (2-1) on Friday, Sept.20. Kick-off is 7 p.m. Pacific Time at Husky Soccer Field where No. 5 Portland (5-2) and UC Irvine (2-2) meet at 4:30 p.m. On Sunday, Sept. 22 the teams exchange opponents as Portland meets Harvard at 11 a.m. and Washington battles UC Irvine at 1:30 p.m. The Huskies, who tallied 13 goals in their first three games, have scored only one goal from the run of play during their last three outings. They are winless in that span, falling 5-1 against top-ranked North Carolina, losing 1-0 to Denver on Friday and tying Cal State Fullerton 1-1 on Sunday despite a 24-5 shot advantage.

Tournament History
Washington won the first three Nike Invitationals (1994-96) and Portland won the last four (1997-99, 2001) ... There was no Husky tournament in 2000 ... Returning Pilot standouts Christine Sinclair and Lauren Orlandos were named the 2001 tournament's offensive and defensive MVPs, respectively.

Tournament Tidbits
Three of the four Nike Invitational teams participated in the NCAA Tournament last season, including Final Four qualifier Portland, Harvard and the host Huskies ... Portland (#5) and Washington (#21) are ranked by Soccer America ... All Husky/Nike Invitational games will be regulation 90-minute contests with two sudden-victory 10-minute overtimes if needed. Games tied after overtime will be declared ties. The tournament champion is the team with the best win-loss record. The procedure for breaking ties for the team title are as follows: 1) head-to-head record, 2) goal differential, 3) total goals scored ... Trophies will be awarded to the two players deemed the outstanding offensive and defensive players by the coaches.

The Husky/Nike Invitational Field
Harvard (2-1)

The Crimson has outscored opponents 10-3, including a 5-1 win at Vermont and 4-0 decision agianst Central Connecticut. Harvard's lone loss was a 2-1 setback against No. 10 Penn State. Joey Yenne leads the Crimson with three goals and three assists while goalkeeper Katie Shields has one shutout and a 1.06 goals against average. Coach Tim Wheaton guided Harvard to the NCAA Tournament in each of the last six seasons. Friday marks the first ever meeting between the Crimson and Washington.

UC Irvine (2-2)
The Anteaters defeated Eastern Washington (2-0) and Saint Mary's (2-1) and lost to Montana (3-2) and Pepperdine (3-1). They are led by the three goals of Hayley McNallen. Goalkeeper Sarah Swancutt has one shutout and a 1.15 goals against average. Coach Marine Cano led Irvine to a 7-9-1 record last season and a fifth-place finish in the Big West Conference standings. Washington won each of the three previous meetings, all in Seattle. UW blanked Irvine 4-0 in 1999 during the most recent encounter.

Portland (5-2)
The fifth-ranked Pilots won five straight games after opening the season 0-2. In his 14th year, Coach Clive Charles has guided the Pilots to the Final Four six of the last eight seasons, including the last two years. Forward Christine Sinclair, a Canadian National Team member, has half of Portland's total with six goals. Goalkeepers Cristin Shea and Lauren Arase have combined for four shutouts and a 0.71 goals against average.

Ranking Report
Washington fell seven spots, to No. 21, in this week's Soccer America rankings. UW is listed No. 18 in the NSCAA coaches poll. The Huskies were a consensus preseason top-25 choice, including a No. 12 ranking by Soccer America, No. 18 by Soccer Times, No. 22 by the NSCAA and No. 25 by Soccer Buzz. Last season, Washington was ranked every week during the season for the first time since 1994, finishing No. 14 in the Soccer Times poll, No. 16 by Soccer America, No. 19 by NSCAA and No. 21 by Soccer Buzz.

o Washington's difficult schedule includes the nation's top-six ranked teams (North Carolina, Stanford, Texas, UCLA, Portland, California). Ten Husky opponents are ranked this week, including seven top-10 foes.

o Junior Melissa Bennett leads UW with seven assists, the third-highest season total ever for a Husky. She was honored Sept. 3 as a member of the national Team of the Week by both Soccer America and Soccer Buzz.

o UW scored 13 goals in its first three games (3-0 record) and two in its last three (0-2-1).

o Senior goalkeeper Hope Solo owns all of Washington's career goalkeeping records, including the standards for saves (260), shutouts (16) and goals against average (0.93).

Sensational Solo
The most decorated player in Husky history is senior goalkeeper Hope Solo, a three-time All-Pac-10 first team honoree. She was named the 2001 Pac-10 Player of the Year after recording seven shutouts and a school single-season record 0.68 goals against average. Solo was one of 13 finalists for the 2001 Hermann Trophy that honors the national player of the year. The Richland (Wash.) High School product owns every UW career goalkeeping record, including the mark of 260 saves that she took possession of during the 2002 season opener. Solo has the best goals against average for a Husky career (0.93) and is tied for the all-time shutout record (16). She missed two games while training in Columbus, Ohio with the U.S. National Team. Solo played the entire first half Sept. 8 in the USA's 8-2 exhibition win over Scotland. She is one of four keepers challenging for spots on the roster for the 2003 World Cup. Solo has collected eight 'caps' for international appearances with the U.S. Nationals. She has been described as 'our future' by national team coach April Heinrichs.

Senior Stoppers
Each member of the Huskies' six-player senior class plays on the defensive side of the ball, including goalkeeper Hope Solo. Nearly the entire back line will be drawn from a group of senior defenders that includes; Suzanne Culpepper, Cheryl Gies, Andrea Morelli and Vanessa Pierce. Another senior, Megan McKinstry, plays the defensive midfield position directly in front of the back line. That vastly experienced cadre of six seniors boasts a combined 302 games played (50-game average per player) and have 259 starts between them (43-start average).

The Defense Never Rests
The Huskies feature a tireless 'Dream Team' of veteran defenders that surrendered only 12 goals last season. That is nine fewer goals than any previous UW unit allowed. The defense returns all four starters from last season's squad that compiled a stunning 0.58 goals against average. That quartet is joined by Andrea Morelli, a two-time all-conference performer who should resume her position in the middle of the defense now that she is completely healthy. The stingy UW defense limited opponents to fewer than two goals in 18 of 20 games in 2001, shutting out 10 foes. The defense kept the team in games, enabling UW to lose by more than one goal only twice in its last 40 outings. One non-senior expected to start on defense is sophomore Nicole Martinez who filled in wonderfully for Morelli in the middle last season and should shift to an outside back spot this year.

Family Affair
Washington's leading goal scorer is speedy sophomore Tina Frimpong who has four goals, including a hat trick in the 2002 season opener against Arkansas (Aug. 30). Her sister, Crystal, is a junior starter at Florida.Tina is a year behind her sister in school because she did not play in 2000 while she was pregnant with daughter MacKenzie who was born on March 8, 2001. Despite being out of competitive soccer for over 18 months, Frimpong led UW in 2001 with seven goals. She netted a hat trick against Idaho in her fourth game and had a two-goal performance at USC. She also found the back of the net in UW's first-round NCAA win over San Diego. A product of Hudson's Bay High School in Vancouver, Wash., Frimpong initially signed a letter of intent with Santa Clara. She never attended classes there and decided to matriculate at Washington beginning in August of 2000.

Last UW Game
#14 Washington 1, Cal State Fullerton 1, 2ot (Sept. 15, Portland)

Melissa Bennett converted a first-half penalty kick, but 14th-ranked Washington only managed a 1-1 tie despite recording a 19-shot advantage over Cal State Fullerton Sunday in the final round of the Portland Nike Invitational at Merlo Field. The Titans (3-1-1) countered a 24-5 deficit in shots with the stellar goalkeeping of Karen Bardsley who registered 12 saves. Eight of those saves came in the second half against the Washington offense that was also impeded by five offside calls. UW (3-2-1) took 10 corner kicks to only four for the Titans. Bennett converted a penalty kick 14:03 into the game after Dana Dibble was fouled while attempting a header near the Fullerton goal. The Titans, who did not attempt a first-half shot, scored the equalizer on their third shot after halftime. Jenny Mescher crossed the ball to Erica Jacalone who headed it in from close range at 68:21. Washington outshot CSUF 11-2 over the remainder of the game, including two 10-minute overtime sessions. Five minutes before the tying goal, sophomore defender Nicole Martinez left the game for good after being elbowed in a collision with the Titans' Erin Shelton who was issued a yellow card on the play. The injury did not appear serious for Martinez who is expected to be available for the next Husky game. Fullerton's score was just the second goal allowed this season by UW goalkeeper Hope Solo who saved two shots. The Huskies might have had another penalty kick attempt during overtime, but officials did not whistle a Fullerton defender for taking Tina Frimpong down in the box.

Season in Review
The Huskies got hat tricks in each of their first two games (Tina Frimpong & Kim Taylor) to begin the season at home with a 4-1 win over Arkansas (Aug. 30) and 5-0 triumph against Colorado College (Sept. 1). They split on their first road trip while goalkeeper Hope Solo was absent with the U.S. National Team. UW opened the Carolina Classic with a 4-3 overtime decision over No. 17 Duke (Sept. 6). Nicole Martinez netted a 106th-minute golden goal against the Blue Devils. Top-ranked North Carolina defeated the Huskies 5-1 (Sept. 8). Washington lost 1-0 to Denver (Sept. 13) in the first round of the Portland Invitational before settling for a 1-1 tie against Cal State Fullerton (Sept. 15) despite a 24-5 shot advantage.

2002 Preview
Ten starters return from the 2001 team that posted a 13-5-2 record, tied for second in the Pac-10 standings and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. The Huskies lost the school's all-time assist leader Caroline Putz. They gain three-year starter Andrea Morelli, the 1999 Pac-10 Defender of the Year who missed the entire 2001 season with a knee injury. With a complete cast of returning starters, the coaching staff won't be establishing a lineup as much as fine-tuning it. Heading the list of returning starters is senior goalkeeper Hope Solo, the 2001 Pac-10 Player of the Year. A veteran group of defenders should again make opposing goals scarce as last season's 0.58 goals against average and 10 shutouts can attest. The midfield is highlighted by Canadian National Team member Clare Rustad, a UW sophomore, and junior playmaker Jaime Carstensen who ranked third on the squad with 12 points (4g/4a). A diverse group of forwards features speedy sophomore Tina Frimpong, last season's team leader with seven goals. The offense benefits from the return of last year's top recruit, skilled forward Kim Taylor whose knee injury limited her to only two games last year. The 2000 Huskies won the Pac-10 title and reached the Sweet 16, their finest postseason performance. Last year's team advanced to the second round of NCAA play. This year's squad appears poised to advance even deeper into the NCAA Tournament than its predecessors.

Pac-10 Poll
Washington was picked third in the annual preseason coaches' poll that was released Aug. 19 by the Pac-10 office. Defending champion UCLA was tabbed as the favorite by the coaches, receiving seven first-place votes and 95 total points. The Bruins won the 2001 conference crown with an 8-1 record and reached the NCAA quarterfinals. Stanford received the remaining three first-place votes and finished with 92 points, just three behind the Bruins. The Huskies totaled 68 points to place third in the poll, ahead of Arizona State (65), California (64), USC (59), Oregon State (37), Washington State (35), Oregon (18) and Arizona (17). UW and Stanford tied for second place in last year's Pac-10 standings with matching 6-2-1 records. Five Pac-10 teams competed in the 2001 NCAA Tournament. UW won the 2000 Pac-10 title.

Gone but Not Forgotten
Just one full-time starter departed from the 2001 team, forward Caroline Putz who distributed a school-record 27 assists during her career. Putz led the team last year with 16 points on five goals and a team-high six assists and was honored as a second-team All Pac-10 selection. Also gone are forwards Gina Brewer (3g/2a/8pts) and Erin Otagaki (2g/4pts) who started one and five games, respectively.

2001 Season Recap
The 2001 season solidified Washington as one of the nation's premier soccer programs. The Huskies posted a 13-5-2 record, tied for second place in the Pacific-10 Conference standings and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. UW defeated San Diego 2-0 in the first round before falling 2-0 against Portland. Washington, which advanced to the postseason for the sixth time in the last eight seasons, was listed in the national polls from the preseason until the final rankings. That marked the first time since 1994 they had been ranked for an entire season. Highlighting the season was the announcement of goalkeeper Hope Solo as the Pac-10 Player of the Year. Solo, who was a finalist for the Hermann Trophy and Missouri Athletic Club award, had seven shutouts and a 0.68 goals against average. UW again played a difficult schedule as all five defeats last season came against teams ranked in the final top 10: Portland (3) twice, UCLA (4), Texas A&M (5) and Stanford (9).

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