UW Signs Five Prep Women's Soccer Standouts

Feb. 6, 2003

SEATTLE - Five stellar high school student-athletes, including goalkeeper Kelsey Rasmussen from Tacoma's Bellarmine Prep High School, signed letters of intent to attend the University of Washington, women's soccer coach Lesle Gallimore announced Thursday.

Rasmussen was the Tacoma News Tribune's Player of the Year for the 2002 season. She was a member of the Under-16 U.S. National Team that traveled to France in June 2002. Rasmussen should compete for playing time with returnees Britni Goodwin and Lisa Brookens. Those three will vie for the starting goalkeeper position vacated by four-time All-Pac-10 performer Hope Solo who Sunday was picked by the Philadelphia Charge as the fourth overall selection in the WUSA Draft.

'I feel like we've signed the best player out of Washington this year,' Gallimore said. 'Kelsey comes with some U-16 national team experience, a great high school career and competition with one of the best clubs in the state. In a year when we lose standout Hope Solo, it is encouraging to have a goalkeeper of Kelsey's caliber joining Brittni Goodwin and Lisa Brookens.'

Another local signee is defender Shaela Ward, a product of Olympia's North Thurston High School. She was a teammate of Rasmussen's on the F.C. Royals, a club team out of Puyallup. With Ward anchoring the defense, North Thurston made a pair of Class AAA state tournament appearances in 2000 and 2001.

'Shaela can play at the back or in the midfield and will also give us more depth. She is hard-nose defender and has great potential,' Gallimore remarked

Rounding out a trio of Northwest recruits is Shannon Dillon, a Maple Valley resident who attends Tahoma High School. Also a member of the prolific F.C. Royals club, Dillon served as her high school squad's team captain in both 2001 and 2002. She recorded her best prep season as a junior when she led the South Puget Sound League's North Division in scoring, tallying 24 goals and 13 assists. That season, she was a member of both the Tacoma News Tribune and South County Journal All Area teams.

'Shannon is a forward with a tremendous work rate and a great tactical sense of the game,' Gallimore said.

Washington was also able to bring in a pair of out of state recruits, Whitney Fenton from Salt Lake City, Utah and Patricia Gialamas from San Clememte, Calif.

Fenton, a midfielder, led Skyline High School to a state championship her junior year and a second-place finish her senior season. She was a first-team all-state selection both seasons. Fenton played alongside current Washington squad member Dana Dibble as members of the Firebirds club team from Salt Lake City.

'Whitney is a player who can come in and help us right away,' Gallimore said. 'She is a skillful player that can play in the midfield or the back. The greatest thing about Whitney is that she's already bleeding purple and gold and she hasn't registered for classes yet!'

Gialamas' claim to fame is her appearance on the cover of a Wheaties box. Her club team, Slammer F.C., received the honor after winning the 2002 Kelloggs Cup Nationals in Ohio. Gialamas claimed four state club titles (1996, 1997, 2001, 2002) while playing for two teams, the So Cal Blue from 1995-99 and Slammers F.C. from 1999 to the present.

'Trish will give us much needed depth at the back,' Gallimore said. 'She is a tough and physical defender that will hold her own in the Pac-10.'

The five-player recruiting class seeks to fill the void left by the departure of six seniors, including Solo and Andrea Morelli, the 1999 Pac-10 Defender of the Year. Solo departs as the Huskies' leader in every goalkeeping category, including career shutouts (18), saves (325) and goals against average (1.02).

The Huskies are coming off a frustrating season in which they were denied an NCAA Tournament bid. Washington posted a 9-8-3 record against one of the nation's most difficult schedules. UW finished fifth in the Pacific-10 Conference standings with a 4-4-1 record.

Shannon Dillon

Forward, Maple Valley, Wash. (Tahoma High School / F.C. Royals)

Whitney Fenton
Midfielder, Salt Lake City, Utah (Skyline High School / Firebirds)

Patrica Gialamas
Defender, San Clemente, Calif. (San Clemente High School / So Cal Blue, Slammers F.C.)

Kelsey Rasmussen
Goalkeeper, Gig Harbor, Wash. (Bellarmine Prep High School / F.C. Royals)

Shaela Ward
Defender, Lacey, Wash. (North Thurston High School / F.C. Royals)

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