Husky/Nike Invitational Women's Soccer Tourney Set for Sept. 19 & 21

Sept. 15, 2003

Complete Release in PDF Format
Download Free Acrobat Reader

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

(#6) Texas vs. (#13) Portland, 4:30 p.m. PDT
Fresno State vs. (#20) Washington, 7:00 p.m. PDT

Fresno State vs. (#13) Portland, 11:00 a.m. PDT
(#6) Texas vs. (#20) Washington, 1:30 p.m. PDT

The 20th-ranked Washington women's soccer team (3-1-2) plays at home for the first time this month, hosting the ninth-annual Husky/Nike Invitational, Sept. 19 and 21 at Husky Soccer Field. Defending national champion Portland (4-2) opens the tournament Friday at 4:30 p.m. against No. 6 Texas (4-2). Washington and Fresno State (3-2-1) meet in the nightcap at 7 p.m. On Sunday, the teams exchange opponents as No. 13 Portland plays Fresno State at 11 a.m. and Washington battles Texas at 1:30 p.m. The Huskies capped a four-game road trip Sunday without losing a game, posting two wins and two ties.

Tournament Tidbits
The Nike Invitational field features defending NCAA champion Portland, currently ranked No. 13. Texas is ranked No. 6 by Soccer America and Washington is No. 20 ... 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 procedures 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.

Tournament History
Washington won the Nike Invitational last year for the first time since 1996. It was the fourth title for UW which won the first three Nike tournaments (1994-96). Portland won four consecutive titles, from 1997-99 and 2001. There was no Husky tournament in 2000 ... UW senior Melissa Bennett was voted the Offensive MVP of the 2002 tournament and the graduated Andrea Morelli was the Defensive MVP.

The Husky/Nike Invitational Field
Fresno State (3-2-1)--
The Bulldogs lost 2-0 at No. 13 California in their last outing, snapping a three-game unbeaten streak. Both losses suffered by Coach Stacy Welp's FSU squad were dealt by ranked opponents, including a 3-1 setback at No. 12 Tennessee. Kortney Lewis leads the Bulldog attack with three goals while goalkeeper Jeannette Paine has a 1.45 goals against average. Friday marks the first ever meeting between Washington and FSU.

Portland (4-2)--The 13th-ranked Pilots had a three-game winning streak halted in their last outing by a 3-2 overtime loss to Connecticut. Longtime coach Clive Charles, who directed the Pilots to a 226-52-13 record in 14 seasons, passed away on Aug. 26 due to cancer. He directed Portland to the 2002 NCAA title. Lindsey Huie paces UP with three goals and three assists. Goalkeeper Cori Alexander has four shutouts and a 1.11 goals against average.

Texas (4-2)--The sixth-ranked Longhorns are outscoring opponents 16-10 led by the five goals of Kelly McDonald. Primary goalkeeper Dana Hall has two shutouts and a 0.96 goals against average. Like Washington, Texas lost to top-ranked North Carolina in overtime. Fifth-year coach Chris Petrucelli guided the Longhorns to back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances. Washington and UT tied 1-1 last year in Austin during their first ever meeting.

Fast Facts
* Senior Melissa Bennett leads the team with four assists. Her career total of 25 is two shy of Caroline Putz's school record of 27.

* Junior Tina Frimpong leads UW with four goals. Her 18 career goals tie her with Melinda Torre for sixth among all-time Huskies.

* Four of the Huskies' first six games went into overtime. UW posted a 1-1-2 record in that quartet of extra session contests.

* Eight UW opponents are currently ranked in the Soccer America poll, including three of the top six teams (North Carolina, UCLA, Texas). Thirteen UW foes competed in the 2002 NCAA Tournament, featuring national champion Portland and Final Four participant UNC.

Junior Clare Rustad joined the Huskies last week after spending the past month training with the Canadian National Team. She entered as a second-half substitute in Sunday's game against Fullerton. Rustad is the injury alternate for Canada's World Cup squad ... Five Husky freshmen made their collegiate debuts in Sunday's second half against Cal State Fullerton. Goalkeeper Kelsey Rasmussen, who had one save in a scoreless half in goal, was joined by Shannon Dillon, Shaela Ward, Katie Johnson and Alec Mills.

Ranking Report
Washington rose five spots to No. 20 in this week's Soccer America rankings. UW is listed No. 14 in the NSCAA (coaches) rankings and is No. 22 in the Soccer Buzz poll. Impressive opening-weekend results vaulted Washington into the national polls on Sept. 1 after not receiving any preseason attention.

Marvelous Melissa
Senior forward Melissa Bennett has picked up where she left off last season, leading the 2003 team with four assists. Bennett ranked second nationally last season with 18 assists, eclipsing the UW single-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.

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.

Family Affair
One of Washington's most dangerous scoring threats is speedy junior Tina Frimpong who leads the team with four 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.

Last UW Game
#25 UW 3, Cal State Fullerton 0 (Sept. 14; Portland, Ore.)

Melissa Bennett assisted on all three goals in the opening 24 minutes for 25th-ranked Washington which defeated Cal State Fullerton 3-0 Sunday and captured the championship of the Nike Invitational at Portland's Merlo Field. Washington (3-1-2) won the tournament title by virtue of a superior goal differential over No. 18 Connecticut which defeated host Portland 3-2 in overtime. The Huskies tied UConn 1-1 on Saturday. UW scored at 8:23 on Dana Dibble's five-yard strike. Bennett started the scoring play with a pass to Jaime Carstensen who found Dibble in front of the Titan goal. Less than two minutes later the Huskies struck again. Tina Frimpong received a long pass from Bennett and blasted home a 15-yard shot at 10:14. Carstensen capped the scoring at 23:04, netting her second goal of the weekend. She headed in Bennett's corner kick from close range. Carstensen tallied UW's lone goal in Saturday's 1-1 tie with UConn. Washington goalkeepers Lisa Brookens and Kelsey Rasmussen combined for the shutout. Brookens saved two first-half shots before leaving at halftime. Rasmussen played the entire second half and was credited with one save in her collegiate debut. UW outshot the Titans 17-7.

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 137-93-21, including a 105-68-12 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 ( 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.

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.

Now on Pac-12 Network
11:00 AM PT

Airing on:

  • Pac-12 Network