Huskies Rout 15th-Ranked USC in Women's Soccer

Nov. 10, 2002

SEATTLE - Junior Melissa Bennett scored three goals and distributed an assist Sunday, helping Washington rout 15th-ranked USC 5-0 at Husky Soccer Field and register the win it required to become eligible for NCAA Women's Soccer Tournament selection.

Washington needed at least a tie in the regular-season finale to secure the .500 record that is the minimum requirement to be eligible for consideration from the NCAA Tournament Committee. Due to the exceptional strength of its schedule, UW is likely to receive a berth when the 64-team NCAA field is announced Monday at 1:30 p.m. Pacific Time. Seven of the Huskies' eight defeats came against teams that are currently ranked, including five setbacks against teams listed in the top 10. They posted three wins and a tie against ranked opponents.

'I knew today with our backs up against the wall that we were going to come out strong. I wouldn't have predicted 5-0, but we did what we needed to get it done,' said Coach Lesle Gallimore who led Washington into the postseason in six of her previous eight seasons. ' Now we sit and wait because it's out of our hands. I certainly feel that we are a Tournament team. We have enough big wins on our schedule and a strong enough schedule to be considered. We just hope that the NCAA Committee sees it that way.'

The Huskies finished fifth in the Pac-10 standings with a 4-4-1 record. USC (10-7-3) placed fourth with a 5-4 conference mark.

Red-shirt freshman Kim Taylor contributed a goal and three assists for the Huskies. She opened the scoring just 1:11 into the game with her team-leading eighth goal. After junior Dana Dibble had her shot blocked, Taylor collected the rebound and pushed it into the net from 12 yards out.

Bennett recorded her first career hat trick by netting the next three goals, all of them assisted by Taylor. She scored in the 23rd minute on a 15-yard blast to give UW a 2-0 lead that would last through halftime.

Nicole Martinez and Taylor set up the third goal at 61:07. Bennett ran on to a Taylor pass before lofting an 18-yard shot over USC goalkeeper Katy Boynton who was charging on the play. On the fourth UW tally, Taylor fed a pass on the right side to Tina Frimpong who dribbled around Trojan defenders before sliding a pass to Bennett who converted a 10-yard shot.

Senior Megan McKinstry scored the final goal just one minute after entering the game. She received a cross from Bennett and sent a 15-yard boot into the left corner at 80:48. That was 18th assist for Bennett who leads the Pac-10 and ranks third nationally in that category.

Bennett, who already owns the school single-season assist record, moved into the No. 2 spot in points. She has 34 points on eight goals and 18 assists, a figure that ranks second only to her sister Tami who amassed 36 points during the 2000 season.

Senior goalkeeper Hope Solo made two saves en route to her second shutout. The 2001 Pac-10 Player of the Year, Solo owns Washington career records for shutouts (18), saves (325) and goals against average (1.02). Boynton had two saves for USC which was out shot by an 18-5 margin.

NCAA Women's Soccer
Washington 5, (#15) USC 0
Husky Soccer Field; Seattle, Wash.

Scoring -- 1, UW, Kim Taylor (Dana Dibble), 1:11. 2, UW, Melissa Bennett (Taylor), 22:55. 3, UW, Bennett (Taylor, Nicole Martinez), 61:07. 4, UW, Bennett (Taylor, Tina Frimpong), 66:20. 5, UW, Megan McKinstry (Bennett), 80:48.

Shots -- USC 5, UW 18.
Saves -- USC 2 (Julie Peterson), UW 2 (Hope Solo).
Corner Kicks -- USC 1, UW 1.
Fouls -- USC 12, UW 19.
Offsides -- USC 1, UW 2.
Attendance -- 792.
Records -- USC 10-7-3, 5-4 Pac-10. Washington 9-8-3, 4-4-1 Pac-10.

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