No. 12 UW Women Begin Pac-10 Play in Los Angeles

Oct. 7, 2003

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(#12) Washington at (#18) USC, 3:00 p.m. PDT (Fox Sports Net)
McAlister Field; Los Angeles, Calif.

(#12) Washington at (#3) UCLA, 7:00 p.m. PDT
Drake Stadium; Los Angeles, Calif.

The 12th-ranked Washington women's soccer team (7-2-2) begins Pacific-10 Conference play this week, traveling to Los Angeles to meet a pair of ranked opponents. The Huskies visit No. 18 USC (4-4-3) on Thursday, Oct. 9. Kick-off is 3 p.m. at McAlister Field for the game that will be televised by Fox Sports Net on a tape-delayed basis. Washington won last year's meeting with the Trojans, a 5-0 triumph in Seattle that was the final game of the regular season for both teams. Despite the defeat, then 15th-ranked USC received an NCAA Tournament invitation. On Saturday, Oct. 11 Washington clashes with No. 3 UCLA (6-1-2) at 7 p.m. in Drake Stadium. The Bruins won their last two meetings with UW, both by one-goal margins. The Huskies' 7-2-2 record is the second-best non-conference mark in their history. UW opened the 2000 season with a 9-1 record before embarking on its only Pac-10 championship campaign. UW seeks to improve upon last year's fifth-place conference finish. The Huskies tied for second in the 2001 Pac-10 standings.

Television Coverage
Thursday's Washington-USC game will be televised on a delayed basis by Fox Sports Net. The game is scheduled to air in Seattle and throughout the region one week later on Thursday, Oct. 16 at 1 p.m. on Fox Sports Net Northwest.

Stingy Defense
Washington's dynamic defense is yielding just 0.60 goals per game, down nearly one full goal from last season's final mark of 1.47. UW has five shutouts, two more than last year's entire season total. The Huskies surrendered more than one goal only once this season, during a 2-1 overtime loss to top-ranked North Carolina.

Quoting Coach Gallimore
'At 7-2-2, we look at our two losses and two ties and I don't think there is a game where we played poorly. I feel good about how we've performed up to this point. We have momentum and confidence going into the conference season. I was happy this weekend that we varied our attack a little bit more. It wasn't so reliant on Tina (Frimpong) and Kim (Taylor). That, plus I'm very, very pleased with how our defense is playing. If you're going to start out the conference and want to see where you stand, you might as well start in L.A. They are both always good teams, so it will be a battle.'

#18 USC (4-4-3, 0-0 in Pac-10)
Eighth-year coach Jim Millinder's 18th-ranked Trojans shut out three of their last four opponents. Freshman Rosa Anna Tantillo's five goals pace USC. Goalkeeper Julie Peterson has registered four shutouts and a 1.37 goals against average. Washington claimed a 5-4 lead in the all-time series with a 5-0 victory last season in Seattle that was the most lopsided result in their meetings. UW won the last three vs. USC.

#3 UCLA (6-1-2, 0-0 in Pac-10)
The third-ranked Bruins are coached for the fifth year by Jillian Ellis. Whitney Jones and Sarah-Gayle Swanson lead UCLA with four goals apiece. Goalkeepers Sarah Lombardo and Arianna Criscione combined for five shutouts and a 0.95 goals against average. The Bruins own a 6-2-1 series advantage, including two straight wins. UCLA won 2-1 last season in Seattle and 1-0 during 2001 in Los Angeles. Washington's last win over the Bruins was a 1-0 decision during 2000 in Seattle.

UW vs. Ranked Foes
The Huskies have a 23-60-7 all-time record against ranked teams, including a 2-2-1 mark this season. They defeated then No. 18 Maryland 2-1 in overtime, lost 2-1 in overtime to No. 1 North Carolina, tied No. 18 Connecticut 1-1, beat No. 6 Texas 3-1 and lost 1-0 to No. 8 Portland. UW has a 7-42-3 all-time record against top-10 teams.

Ranking Report
Washington moved up one spot to 12th in this week's Soccer America and Soccer Buzz rankings. UW is listed No. 9 in the NSCAA (coaches) rankings and is No. 10 in the Soccer Times poll. Impressive opening-weekend results vaulted the Huskies into the national polls on Sept. 1 after they did not receiving any preseason ranking recognition.

* Both of Washington's losses this season came against team currently ranked among national top-5. UW had a 2-1 overtime setback against top-ranked North Carolina and fell 1-0 against current No. 5 Portland, the defending national champion.

* Washington's seven goals last weekend were scored by seven different players.

* Melissa Bennett has distributed six assists. Her career total of 27 is tied for the school record of 27 set by Caroline Putz.

* Tina Frimpong leads UW with 9 goals. Her 24 career scores rank fourth all-time at UW.

Marvelous Melissa
Senior forward Melissa Bennett picked up where she left off last season, having distributed six assists in 2003. She has 27 career assists and is tied for the school record established by Caroline Putz (1998-2001). 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 Husky coaching staff. Melissa ranks fifth among all-time UW attackers with 61 total points. Her sister Tami ranks second on that list after compiling 78 points between 1997-2000.

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 141-94-21, including a 109-69-12 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.

Family Affair
One of Washington's most dangerous offensive threats is speedy junior Tina Frimpong who leads the team in scoring. She already boasts a career-high nine goals this season after recording seven in each of her first two collegiate campaigns. Frimpong ranks fourth among all-time Huskies with 23 career goals. She was twice named Pac-10 Player of the Week this season, on Sept. 1 and Sept. 23. 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 and ranked third among UW scorers last season with seven goals. 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:
#13 UW 2, Idaho State 0 (Oct. 5; Seattle)

Senior Blair Ruport assisted on the first goal and then netted an insurance tally Sunday as the 13th-ranked Washington women closed out their non-conference schedule with a 2-0 victory over Idaho State in front of 1,534 spectators at Husky Soccer Field. The Huskies improved to 7-2-2, the second-best non-conference record in their history. UW opened the 2000 season with a 9-1 record before embarking on a Pac-10 championship campaign. Idaho State dropped to 4-5-1 with its fourth consecutive loss. Bengal goalkeeper Shannon Boyle registered seven saves before leaving with an injury. Esther Toronto had one save while playing the final five minutes in goal. The Huskies defeated Portland State 5-0 on Friday. They outscored this weekend's opponents by a combined 7-0 tally and all seven goals were scored by different players. The UW defense shut out its fifth opponent. Freshman Kelsey Rasmussen drew her first collegiate starting assignment in goal for the Huskies. The product of Tacoma's Bellarmine Prep High School was not required to make a save as the Bengals did not attempt a shot. Washington outshot ISU by a 25-0 margin. Junior Kelley Schweighart opened the scoring at 24:01 with her first goal of the season. She collected a cross from Ruport and blasted the ball into the upper right of the goal from 12 yards out. Kelli Smith was also credited with an assist on the play. Ruport was on the receiving end of a well-placed cross at 31:52. She gathered a looping pass from Kim Taylor and deposited it into the upper right corner from eight yards away. The goal was Ruport's second of the season. Taylor moved into the team lead with her seventh assist.

Ticket Information
Tickets for all remaining Washington home games 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 ( General admission tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for children and senior citizens.

So Long Solo
The most decorated player in Husky history, goalkeeper Hope Solo, moved on to guard 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.

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 Jaime Carstensen. 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 group of 11 newcomers, headed by Iowa State transfer Nikki Gamble, seeks to buoy the Huskies' NCAA Tournament aspirations.

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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