#25 UW Women Play in Portland Invitational

Sept. 9, 2003

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Portland/Nike Invitational
Merlo Field (5,000) * Portland, Ore.

(#25) Washington vs. (#18) Connecticut, 12:00 p.m. PDT
Fresno State vs. (#9) Portland, 2:15 p.m. PDT

(#25) Washington vs. Cal State Fullerton, 12:00 p.m. PDT
(#18) Connecticut vs. (#9) Portland, 2:15 p.m. PDT

This Week
The 25th-ranked Washington women's soccer team (2-1-1) continues its four-game road trip this weekend, travelling to the state of Oregon for the Portland/Nike Invitational. The Huskies play a pair of undefeated teams in the four-team tournament. Washington meets the 'other' Huskies, the Connecticut variety, in the opening round. UW and 18th-ranked UConn play Saturday, Sept. 13 at 12 noon Pacific Time at Merlo Field where Portland (3-1) plays Cal State Fullerton at 2:15 p.m. On Sunday, Sept. 14 the teams trade opponents as Washington meets Cal State Fullerton (3-0) at noon followed by a Connecticut-Portland matchup at 2:15 p.m.

Last Week
The Huskies posted a win and tie on their first road trip of the season. UW traveled to Colorado Springs, Colo. and opened with a 1-1 tie Friday (Sept. 5) against Loyola Marymount. Kim Taylor's 79th-minute goal evened the score. Taylor assisted on Nikki Gamble's lone goal in a 1-0 win over Colorado College on Sunday (Sept. 7). Washington's only loss was a 2-1 overtime setback against top-ranked North Carolina.

Tournament Tidbits
Washington competed in seven of the previous nine Portland Invitationals and won the 1999 championship. The host Pilots won their tournament five times (1993, '95, '96, '98, 2002). Notre Dame won the 2000 tournament title and the 2001 competition was canceled due to the national tragedy on Sept. 11. The 2003 Invitational field includes 2002 national champion Portland and NCAA quarterfinalist Connecticut.

This Week's Opponents
Connecticut (2-0-1)
-- The 18th-ranked Huskies won their last two games after opening the season with a scoreless tie versus Wake Forest. Jessica Gjertsen tallied four goals for UConn which outscored opponents by a 6-1 tally. Goalkeeper Erin Rice has a 0.33 goals against average and two shutouts to her credit. Coach Len Tsantiris boasts an impressive 385-97-24 record in 23 years with the Huskies. UConn won both previous meetings with Washington, including a 4-1 decision during their last meeting in 1998.

Cal State Fullerton (3-0) -- The Huskies and Titans met last season for the first time ever at last year's Portland tournament, resulting in a 1-1 tie. Coach Ali Khosroshahin's squad has a perfect record, winning three games by a combined 6-1 count. Goalkeeper Laura Janke has two shutouts and a 0.33 goals against average.

Ranking Report
Washington dropped eight spots to No. 25 in this week's Soccer America rankings. UW is listed No. 24 in the Soccer Buzz and NSCAA (coaches) polls. Impressive opening-weekend results vaulted Washington into the national polls on Sept. 1 after not receiving any preseason attention.

* Sophomore forward Kim Taylor has played a role in four of Washington's five goals this season. She scored the game-winning goal at Colorado College and leads the team with three assists.

* Three of the Huskies' first four games went into overtime. UW posted a 1-1-1 record in that trio of extra session contests.

Road Trip
The Huskies hope for better road results this season after struggling last year away from home. Washington posted a fine 6-2 record at Husky Soccer Field and was 1-1-1 in neutral-site contests. The road record was 2-5-2. A pair of losses in the state of Arizona during UW's final road trip of 2002 likely cost the team an NCAA Tournament berth. The Huskies won their only road outing this year, 1-0 at Colorado College and tied in a neutral-site encounter with Loyola Marymount.

Strenuous Schedule
Washington encounters a difficult schedule that includes nine opponents ranked in the current top 25, including three of the nation's top five teams. UW's ranked opponents are: No. 1 North Carolina, UCLA (4), Texas (5), Portland (9), Arizona State (11), California (14), Stanford (16), Connecticut (18) and USC (23). Thirteen teams that participated in the 2002 NCAA Tournament appear on the Huskies' schedule, including national champion Portland and Final Four qualifier North Carolina.

2003 UW Preview
Nine starters return from the 2002 Washington team that was snubbed by the NCAA Tournament committee. The Huskies posted a 9-8-3 record last season, including victories over three ranked opponents. Six of UW's eight losses came against ranked foes, five of them against top-10 teams. The 2003 Huskies are determined to make up for last season's postseason absence. With a near complete cast of returning starters, the coaching staff won't be establishing a lineup as much as fine-tuning it. UW returns the top seven scorers from last year led by senior Melissa Bennett who topped all Pac-10 players in points (34) and ranked second nationally in assists (18). Sophomore Kim Taylor tied for team-high honors with eight goals and explosive junior Tina Frimpong matched her 2001 total of seven goals. Senior Lisa Brookens and prep All-American Kelsey Rasmussen will battle for the starting goalkeeper spot vacated by standout Hope Solo. The other key departure was four-year central defensive starter Andrea Morelli. The midfield is directed by senior playmaker Jaime Carstensen who ranked fourth on the squad with 12 points. A diverse group of defenders features senior Liz Taylor and sophomore Sara Davis along with juniors Nicole Martinez and Kelli Smith. That quartet seeks to shore up a defense that surrendered 31 goals in 2002, the highest combined opponent tally since 1997. A large group of 11 newcomers, headed by Iowa State transfer Nikki Gamble, seeks to buoy the Huskies' NCAA Tournament aspirations.

Marvelous Melissa
Senior forward Melissa Bennett picked up where she left off last season, assisting on Tina Frimpong's goal against North Carolina (Aug. 31). Bennett ranked second nationally last season with 18 assists, eclipsing the UW season record of 12. A second-team All-Pac-10 pick, Bennett also led the league with 34 total points. Despite the record-setting assist total, Bennett is better known for scoring goals than setting them up. Bennett tied for the team lead with eight goals in 2002. She amassed a Washington state prep record with 166 goals at Seattle Christian High School. Melissa broke the state's high school record of 152 goals previously held by her sister Tami Bennett, a 2000 UW grad now in her first year on the coaching staff.

Last UW Game
#17 UW 1, Colorado College 0 (Sept. 7; Colorado Springs)

The 17th-ranked Washington women dominated the run of play Sunday, but didn't score until junior Nikki Gamble's 85th-minute header found the back of the net in a 1-0 win over Colorado College at Stewart Field. Washington (2-1-1) dealt the Tigers (2-1-1) their first defeat. Sophomore Kim Taylor set up the game-winning goal with just over five minutes left in the game, registering her team-leading third assist. Taylor lofted a cross that found Gamble in front of the net for a short header at 84:54. On Friday, Taylor scored an unassisted goal late in regulation time that secured UW's 1-1 tie against Loyola Marymount. Sunday's goal was the first at Washington for Gamble who transferred from Iowa State prior to this season. She is a product of Oak Harbor (Wash.) High School. The Huskies controlled the ball in their offensive end for the majority of the game. They attempted a school-record 17 corner kicks while Colorado College had none. The previous UW record for corner kicks in a game was 14 established on Oct. 1, 1993 against Arkansas. Washington outshot Colorado College by a lopsided 30-3 tally, but had six shots saved by Meghann Loseke. UW goalkeeper Lisa Brookens made one save en route to the team's first shutout.

The Coaching Staff
Tenth-year coach Lesle Gallimore posted her 100th Washington victory on Oct. 13, 2003 at Oregon State. The 2000 Pac-10 Coach of the Year led UW to the NCAA Tournament in six of her previous nine seasons at UW. Last year she guided UW to a 9-8-3 record and a fifth-place Pac-10 finish (4-4-1). Gallimore was named the 2000 National Coach of the Year by Soccer Buzz after her Huskies posted an 18-3 record, won their first Pac-10 title, received the No. 2 seed for the NCAA Tournament and advanced to the Sweet 16 for the first time. Gallimore has a 14-year record of 136-93-20, including a 104-68-11 mark in nine seasons at UW. Prior to coaching the Huskies, Gallimore compiled a 32-25-9 record in four seasons at San Diego State. Gallimore's staff includes eighth-year assistant coach Amy Griffin (previously Allmann), a goalkeeper with the 1991 U.S. World Cup championship team who previously was the head coach at New Mexico. Tami Bennett joins the staff this season after two seasons as an assistant at Portland State. Bennett, whose sister Melissa is a senior on the UW squad, concluded her collegiate career in 2000 as Washington's all-time scoring leader with 34 goals. Also on the staff is volunteer coach Erin Otagaki, a four-year letterwinner at UW from 1998-2001.

Ticket Information
Season tickets are available for the 2003 Washington women's soccer season and can be obtained through the Husky Ticket Office (206-543-2200). Advanced single-game tickets are also available at the ticket office, or on-line via the athletic department website (www.gohuskies.com) or through the Husky Ticket Office (206-543-2200.). General admission tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for children and senior citizens. Other ticket options are also available, including group and Family Plans.

Family Affair
One of Washington's most dangerous scoring threats is speedy junior Tina Frimpong who leads the team with three goals. She was named Pac-10 Player of the Week on Sept. 1. Frimpong played with the Seattle Sounders Select team this summer, leading them to the W-League semifinals. She amassed eight goals in six games. Her sister, Crystal, is a senior starter at Florida who led the Gators in 2002 with six goals. 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 returned to lead UW in 2001 with seven goals. She netted a hat trick against Idaho in her fourth game and had a two-goal effort at USC. Frimpong also scored in UW's first-round NCAA win over San Diego. She also had a hat trick last season and ranked third among UW scorers. A product of Hudson's Bay High School in Vancouver, Wash., Frimpong initially signed a letter of intent with Santa Clara. Before attending classes, she decided to enroll at Washington beginning in the fall of 2000.

So Long Solo
The most decorated player in Husky history, goalkeeper Hope Solo, is now guarding the nets for the Philadelphia Charge. A senior in 2002, Solo was the fourth overall selection in January's WUSA Draft. She left Washington as the school's leader in nearly every goalkeeping category, including career saves (325), shutouts (18) and goals against average (1.02) along with single-season goals against average (0.68 in 2001). The 2001 Pac-10 Player of the Year, Solo was one of 13 finalists for the national Player of the Year in each of her final two seasons.

Pac-10 Poll
Washington was picked sixth in the annual preseason coaches' poll that was released Aug. 19 by the Pac-10 office. Defending champion Stanford was tabbed as the favorite by the coaches, receiving six first-place votes and 77 total points. The Cardinal won the 2002 conference crown with a 9-0 record and reached the NCAA quarterfinals. UCLA received the remaining four first-place votes and finished with 66 points. Arizona State was projected third with 61 points, USC was fourth with 50 and California was fifth with 48. The Huskies totaled 44 points to place sixth in the poll, ahead of Washington State (38), Oregon State (25), Arizona (18) and Oregon (13). UW placed fifth in last year's Pac-10 standings with a 4-4-1 record. That was the lowest conference finish ever for the Huskies who won the 2000 Pac-10 title. Six teams from the Pac-10 received NCAA Tournament invitations last year.

2002 UW Season Review
The Huskies finished the season with a 9-8-3 record against one of the nation's most difficult schedules. Six of the Huskies' eight defeats came against teams that were ranked in the final Soccer America poll, including five setbacks versus teams listed in the top 10. Washington played 11 games against opponents that received postseason berths, posting a 2-7-2 record in those encounters. Among the Washington seniors whose collegiate careers concluded were goalkeeper Hope Solo, the 2001 Pac-10 Player of the Year, and Andrea Morelli, the 1999 Pac-10 Defender of the Year. Solo departed as the Huskies' leader in nearly every goalkeeping category, including career shutouts (18), saves (325) and goals against average (1.02). The Huskies finished fifth in the Pacific-10 Conference standings with a 4-4-1 record, capping the season with a 5-0 victory over 15th-ranked USC.

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