UW Women Receive NCAA Tournament Soccer Berth

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Nov. 10, 2003

SEATTLE - The Washington women's soccer team returns to postseason play after a one-year absence and will meet Nebraska Friday, Nov. 14 at Portland, Ore. in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, the selection committee announced Monday afternoon.

The Huskies (11-6-3) received their seventh all-time NCAA Tournament invitation, all of them coming during Coach Lesle Gallimore's 10 seasons. They meet Nebraska (12-7-1) at Merlo Field on Friday, Nov. 14 at 11 a.m. Nebraska is making its eighth NCAA Tournament appearance.

Host Portland (16-3-1), the tournament's No. 8 seed, plays Denver (17-3) at 1 p.m. in the second half of Friday's doubleheader. The first-round winners clash in Portland on Sunday, Nov. 16 at 1 p.m. for the right to advance to the round of 16.

'For our kids, it's fun to see a team from outside our region,' Gallimore said. 'The first round is exciting to go in fresh, playing a team that you haven't already seen. Nebraska has had a good season, but like us they haven't done anything spectacular that has gotten them seeded.'

The Huskies and Cornhuskers met only once before in women's soccer, at a regular-season tournament in Portland, Ore. UW posted a 5-1 victory on Sept. 17, 1995. The teams were scheduled to meet at the annual Portland tournament on Sept. 14, 2001, but that game was canceled due to the national tragedy on Sept. 11.

Washington finished fifth in the Pacific-10 Conference standings for the second straight season with a 4-4-1 record. The Cornhuskers placed fourth in the Big 12 with a 6-4 mark.

Nebraska is one of eight NCAA Tournament teams from the Big 12 Conference. The Pac-10 produced five postseason teams as Washington is joined by No. 4 seed UCLA, Arizona State, Stanford and USC.

If Washington gets by the Cornhuskers, a potential second-round matchup looms with Northwest nemesis Portland. The Pilots eliminated UW from the NCAA Tournament four times (1995, 1996, 2000, 2001), three of them by 1-0 scores. Portland edged the Huskies 1-0 this year in Seattle on Sept. 26 to increase its lead in the all-time series to 15-1-1. The lone Washington victory over the Pilots was a 2-1 decision in 2000 at Merlo Field.

Gallimore is not upset by the prospect of another postseason pairing with perennial national power Portland. The defending national champion Pilots advanced to the Final Four in each of the last three seasons.

'If you are going to win the NCAA championship you are going to have to do it beating good teams at some point in time,' explained Gallimore. 'Obviously we have a great rivalry with Portland. But we have played this game too many times to look ahead. Just trying to get past Nebraska is going to be tough.'

The top 16 tournament teams were seeded into the pairings. The other seeded squads in Washington's bracket are No. 9 Santa Clara, a potential round of 16 opponent, along with No. 1 North Carolina and No. 16 Illinois.

The Huskies played 10 games this season against opponents from the 64-team NCAA Tournament field, registering a 3-5-2 record. Two of those defeats were overtime setbacks against No. 1 seed North Carolina and No. 4 UCLA.

Washington has a 4-5-1 all-time record in NCAA Tournament play, advancing to the round of 16 in 2000. The Huskies' last appearance was in 2001 when they defeated San Diego 2-0 in the first round before losing 2-0 to host Portland.

The NCAA Tournament format calls for first-round games to be played Friday, November 14, at campus sites with second-round contests scheduled for Sunday, Nov. 16 at the same campus sites. Third-round games will be played on campus sites November 21, 22 or 23, as will quarterfinal matches on November 28, 29 or 30.

The 22nd-annual NCAA Division I Women's College Cup will be played December 5 and 7 at State Capital Soccer Park in Cary, N.C.


2003 NCAA WOMEN'S SOCCER TOURNAMENT PAIRINGS
(# - seeded teams, * - host school)

#1 *North Carolina (20-0-0) vs. High Point (9-9-1)
UNC Greensboro (14-6-2) vs. Wake Forest (10-6-3)

DePaul (14-6-2) vs. Purdue (12-5-3)
#16 *Illinois (16-3-2) vs. Western Michigan (13-7-1)

#9 *Santa Clara (12-3-5) vs. Stanford (10-8-2)
Cal Poly (18-1-2) vs. Arizona State (12-4-3)

WASHINGTON (11-6-3) vs. Nebraska (12-7-1)
#8 *Portland (16-3-1) vs. Denver (17-3-0)

#5 *Penn State (16-2-3) vs. Navy (17-4-1)
Rutgers (10-6-4) vs. Maryland (11-8-1)

Southern Methodist (17-3-1) vs. *Texas A&M (12-5-2)
#12 Duke vs. Stephen F. Austin (15-4-2)

#13 Kansas (16-5-1) vs. Illinois State (11-5-3)
*Missouri (11-10-1) vs. Eastern Illinois (11-5-5)

USC (9-7-4) vs. Pepperdine (13-5-1)
#4 *UCLA (16-1-3) vs. San Diego (9-7-4)

#3 *Florida (16-3-2) vs. Central Florida (16-4-1)
Mississippi (14-5-2) vs. Texas (12-8-0)

Clemson (11-6-2) vs. Georgia (12-9-0)
#14 *Tennessee (15-4-2) vs. Oklahoma (8-6-5)

#11 *Florida State (13-7-1) vs. Dartmouth (9-5-2)
Auburn (13-3-3) vs. Oklahoma State (15-4-3)

Ohio State (12-4-3) vs. Dayton (14-5-2)
#6 *West Virginia (15-3-2) vs. Loyola, Md. (12-8-1)

#7 *Virginia (12-5-2) vs. William & Mary (14-6-2)
Princeton (11-2-3) vs. Villanova (14-5-3)

*Utah (16-2-1) vs. Idaho State (9-8-1)
Brigham Young (14-6-2) vs. Colorado (15-3-1)

#15 *Boston College (15-2-3) vs. Central Conn. State (15-2-3)
Connecticut (10-5-3) vs. Boston University (12-5-5)

Oakland (15-4-1) vs. Michigan (9-7-6)
#2 *Notre Dame (19-2-1) vs. Loyola, Ill. (10-10)

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