UW Clashes with Auburn in NCAA Tournament Second Round
Nov. 13, 2004
NCAA WOMEN'S SOCCER TOURNAMENT, SECOND ROUND
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 14 --
#15 Washington vs. #22 Auburn, 12:00 p.m. PST (2:00 p.m. CST)
AU Soccer Complex; Auburn, Alabama
NOVEMBER 19, 20 OR 21 --
UW/Auburn winner vs. Penn State/Maryland winner, site TBA
The 15th-seeded Washington Huskies (15-4-1) seek to advance to the Sweet 16 for the second time in history when they clash with Auburn (15-3-2) on Sunday, Nov. 14 in the second round of the NCAA Women's Soccer Tournament. Kick-off is 12 p.m. Pacific Time (2 p.m. Central) at the AU Soccer Complex in Auburn, Ala. This is the first ever meeting between 15th-ranked Washington and the No. 22 Tigers. Sunday's UW-Auburn winner meets the Maryland-Penn State victor at one of the competitor's campus sites to be determined. The Huskies dispatched Birmingham-Southern 5-0 in Friday's first-round action and Auburn beat Clemson 2-0. UW is competing in the playoffs for the fourth time in the last five years. The Huskies are making their eighth overall NCAA Tournament appearance, all of them coming during Coach Lesle Gallimore's 11 seasons. UW advanced past the second round once before, reaching the Sweet 16 in 2000. The Huskies' current victory total of 15 is the second-highest number of wins in their history behind only the school-record 18 posted in 2000.
Washington improved it's all-time NCAA Tournament record to 5-6-1 with Friday's 5-0 win over Birmingham-Southern. Prior to 2004, the Huskies' last appearance was in 2003 when they lost a 2-1 first-round decision to Nebraska in Portland, Ore. UW outshot the Cornhuskers 20-10 in that game, but lost on a deflected free kick in the 89th minute. UW's best playoff performance was a Sweet 16 appearance in 2000. In the second round of the 1994 NCAA Tournament, the Huskies tied 0-0 at Stanford, but the Cardinal advanced on the strength of a 6-5 edge during the penalty-kick tiebreaker.
Scouting Auburn (15-3-2)
The 22nd-ranked Tigers are making their third consecutive postseason appearance, their first as host school. Auburn defeated No. 25 Clemson 2-0 on Friday to advance to the NCAA's second round for the third straight season. Sixth-year Coach Karen Hoppa (Richter) was the 1990 Goalkeeper of the Year at Central Florida where she was inducted into the Hall of Fame. Washington assistant coach Amy Griffin (Allmann) is also a UCF Hall of Famer and was the 1987 Goalkeeper of the Year. The Tigers, who lost only once in their last 13 games, are outscoring opponents by a 35-14 tally. Chrissy Culver scored a team-high eight goals while Sarah Steinmann has six goals and six assists. Goalkeeper Megan Rivera has eight shutouts and a 0.69 goals against average. Washington and Auburn have never before met in women's soccer.
Referred to as the 'College Cup,' the NCAA women's soccer tournament is a single-elimination playoff that features a 64-team field. The NCAA Tournament format calls for 16 second-round games to be played Sunday, Nov. 14 at the same campus sites that hosted first-round contests. Third-round games will be played on campus sites on Nov. 19, 20 or 21, as will quarterfinal matches on Nov. 26, 27 or 28. The semifinals and 23rd-annual championship game are scheduled for Dec. 3 and 5 at State Capital Soccer Park in Cary, N.C.
The Huskies played 13 games this season against opponents from the 64-team NCAA Tournament field, registering a 10-3 record ... The top 16 tournament teams were seeded into the pairings. The other seeded schools in Washington's bracket are No. 2 Penn State, a potential round of 16 opponent, along with No. 7 Princeton. No. 10 Florida was upset Friday by Central Florida ... The Huskies defeated Penn State 2-1 on Aug. 27 in Seattle in the 2004 season opener for both teams ... Washington posted a 4-2 record against the tournament's 16 seeded squads, including wins over No. 2 Penn State, No. 5 Portland, No. 6 Ohio State and No. 11 Tennessee ... Five of the Huskies' previous seven forays into the playoffs took them to Merlo Field in Portland. The Pilots eliminated UW from the NCAA Tournament four times (1995, 1996, 2000, 2001), three of them by 1-0 scores.
Coach Lesle Gallimore's Comments
On the first round win - 'I was just happy to see us finish a few goals in the first half to sort of get the anxiety out. I thought we came out in the second half and put it away early. We didn't leave any doubt. I'm happy that we didn't have any kind of breakdown. We came out and dominated the game from the beginning to the end and made sure that we took care of business to get to the next round.'
On the tournament invitation - 'We're just elated. Getting into the tournament is always the No. 1 goal you have. This team has worked really hard to get where they are. We're encouraged by our draw and we're encouraged by the success we've had against teams in the tournament.'
On this season's difficult schedule - 'We are encouraged with our results against the teams we played that are in the tournament. We know we can play with the best of the best when we're executing on all cylinders. The road schedule that we had was unbelievable. Just looking at the teams we have played that are in the tournament clearly has prepared us for this day.'
On the Road Again
The NCAA Tournament takes the Huskies 2,200 miles away from home, to Auburn, Alabama. A road trip is nothing unique for Washington, which played 13 of their 20 games away from home. UW had a 41-day stretch from Sept. 4 through Oct. 14 during which it played nine consecutive road games. A 10th road game in the middle of that span, at Maryland on Sept. 17, was cancelled due to thunderstorms and a tornado warning. Prior to the regular-season ending two-game homestand, the Huskies played 12 of their previous 14 games on the road.
The Washington women's soccer team rose two spots to No. 15 in this week's Soccer America magazine poll released Nov. 8. The Huskies are listed No. 12 in the Soccer Buzz rankings. Last week, they were ranked No. 17 by Soccer Times and No. 25 in the coaches' poll conducted by the NSCAA. UW was not ranked in the preseason polls.
Washington encountered a difficult schedule with nine opponents ranked in the current Soccer America top 25, including four of the nation's top-10. UW's ranked opponents are: No. 5 Portland, Ohio State (6), Penn State (7), UCLA (10), Arizona (13), Tennessee (14), California (18), Stanford (19) and Auburn (22). UW's regular-season scheduled had 12 teams from the 2004 NCAA field, including seeds Penn State (1), Portland (5), Ohio State (6), Arizona (13) and UCLA (14).
Player of the Year
Forward Tina Frimpong, the leading scorer for 15th-ranked Washington, was honored as the Pac-10 Women's Soccer Player of the Year for the second straight season. Frimpong who shared 2003 Pac-10 Player of the Year honors with UCLA's Nandi Pryce, is the first player to receive the league's top player award twice in her career. A product of Hudson's Bay High School in Vancouver, Wash., Fimpong tied for the league lead with six game-winning goals. She ranks third in the Pac-10 with 28 points this season and scored 12 regular-season goals to tie for second in the league. She helped guide the Huskies to a third-place Pac-10 finish. Frimpong is only the second Washington player to receive Pac-10 Player of the Year honors, the other being Hope Solo in 2001. Three other UW players were lauded by the Pac-10. Senior Nikki Gamble was a second-team selection while senior Kelley Schweighart and junior Kim Taylor were honorable mention picks.
Washington's most dangerous scoring threat is speedy senior Tina Frimpong, the first two-time Player of the Year in Pac-10 women's soccer history. Frimpong, who led all Pac-10 players with 13 goals in 2003, leads the 2004 Huskies with 14 goals. She scored twice in UW's opening-round NCAA victory over Birmingham-Southern. Frimpong netted her school-record 35th goal Oct. 15 against USC, a golden goal with 42 seconds left in the final overtime. She now has 41 goals, eclipsing the record of 34 goals established between 1997-200 by current UW assistant coach Tami Bennett. Frimpong also owns the UW records for career game-winning goals (17) and total points (94). She netted two hat tricks during her career and has 12 multiple-goal performances. Frimpong 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 registered a hat trick against Idaho in her fourth game and had a two-goal performance at USC. Frimpong also found the back of the net in UW's 2001 first-round NCAA win over San Diego. She netted seven goals and a hat trick in 2002. A product of Hudson's Bay High School in Vancouver, Wash., Frimpong initially signed with Santa Clara. Before attending classes, she decided to enroll at UW beginning in August of 2000.
Over half of UW's roster is comprised of underclassmen. UW has a nine-player freshman class and six sophomores. Eight freshmen have already seen game action, leaving backup goalkeeper Lizzy Showman as the only newcomer who hasn't played. A trio of freshmen are frequent starters: Dani Bridges, Dana Stirn and Whitney Clark.
Washington finished third in the Pacific-10 Conference standings with a 5-3-1 record. The Pac-10 produced five postseason teams as Washington is joined by No. 13 seed Arizona, No. 14 UCLA, California and Stanford.
Junior forward Kim Taylor was an honorable mention All-Pac-10 selection in each of the last two seasons. Taylor ranked second among Huskies with 18 total points last season. She tied for top team honors with eight assists and was second with five goals. This year, she is again tied for the assist lead, with five, and is third on the team with six goals and 18 points. Taylor is within striking distance of some schools records. She ranks No. 5 among all-time UW playmakers with 19 career assists. The school record of 29 is held by Melissa Bennett (2000-03). Taylor is third on the career game-winning assists list with nine. The Husky record of 11 was established by Caroline Putz (1998-2001). Taylor has 19 career goals, ranking seventh among all-time UW scorers and is No. 3 with 9 game-winning goals.
The Head Coach
The 'Dean of Pac-10 Coaches,' Lesle Gallimore has transformed Washington into one of the nation's premier programs since her hiring in 1994. She enters her second decade of service with the Huskies, standing atop the Pac-10 coaching charts in all-time victories (128) and conference wins (52). Gallimore is directing UW to its eighth NCAA Tournament berth. She posted her 100th Washington victory on Oct. 13, 2003 at Oregon State. The 2000 Pac-10 Coach of the Year led UW to the playoffs in eight of her 11 seasons. Gallimore was named the 2000 National Coach of the Year by Soccer Buzz after her Huskies posted an 18-3 record, won the Pac-10 title, received the No. 2 seed for the NCAAs and reached the Sweet 16 for the first time. Gallimore has a 15-year record of 160-103-23, including a 128-78-14 mark in 11 seasons at UW. Prior to coaching the Huskies, Gallimore compiled a 32-25-9 record in four years at San Diego State.
The Assistant Coaches
Lesle Gallimore's staff includes ninth-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 joined the staff last season after two seasons as an assistant at Portland State. Bennett concluded her collegiate career in 2000 as UW's all-time scoring leader with 34 goals.
UW's Last Game
#15 UW 5, Birmingham-Southern 0 (Nov. 12, 2004; Auburn, Ala.)
Seniors Tina Frimpong and Nikki Gamble each scored two goals Friday as 15th-ranked Washington equaled its most convincing postseason victory ever with a 5-0 triumph over Birmingham-Southern in a first-round NCAA Women's Soccer Tournament game at AU Soccer Complex. Washington, the tournament's No. 15 seed, created several dangerous chances early, including a shot off the right post by Kim Taylor in the 22nd minute. Six minutes later Taylor helped the Huskies finally break through the packed-in Birmingham defense. Taylor fired a 17-yard shot that was deflected by BSC goalkeeper Andria Gray. Frimpong collected the carom and pushed it inside the right post at 28:48. The same two UW forwards combined for a second goal at 35:56. Taylor sent a long, low pass into the area. Frimpong slid and touched the ball just past Gray and inside the left post from seven yards away. UW went ahead 3-0 before halftime on Gamble's 42nd-minute goal. Senior Kelley Schweighart streaked down the left flank and passed to freshman Katy Dowling at the goal line. Dowling sent the ball across the goalmouth and Gamble booted it into the ball surrounded by several defenders. Senior defender Nicole Martinez netted her first goal of the season off a corner kick in the 53rd minute. Freshman Colby Branham served a ball into the box that Martinez emphatically headed in from 12 yards out. Gamble capped the scoring with her 10th goal of the season. She received a pass from freshman Dana Stirn and slid a shot toward goal that trickled inside the left post. Gray was credited with six saves for the Panthers (12-8-3) who were outshot by a 19-8 margin. Sophomore Kelsey Rasmussen registered four saves for the Huskies who blanked their third straight opponents. Rasmussen has eight shutouts this season and 11 for her career.
Home Sweet Home
For the eighth year, all Washington home games were played on campus at 2,100-seat Husky Soccer Field. The facility is located north of Husky Stadium on the southeast corner of the Montlake Boulevard parking lot. Lights were installed before the 2000 season. The Huskies have a 47-21-3 all-time record at Husky Soccer Field with a 39-12-2 ledger since 1999. They were 6-1 this season in Seattle and averaged 1,641 spectators. Washington ranked among the nation's top-10 attendance leaders every year since moving to the present venue in 1997.