Huskies Host Maryland Saturday in Soccer Sweet 16
Nov. 16, 2004
NCAA WOMEN'S SOCCER TOURNAMENT
THIRD ROUND (SWEET 16)
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 20 --
Maryland at #15 Washington, 5:00 p.m. PST (8:00 p.m. EST)
Husky Soccer Field (2,100); Seattle, Wash.
NOVEMBER 26, 27 or 28 --
UW/Maryland winner vs. Boston College/Princeton winner, site TBA
The 15th-seeded Washington women's soccer team (16-4-1), which won a pair of playoff games last weekend in Auburn, Ala., will entertain Maryland (9-6-4) on Saturday, Nov. 20 in a third-round NCAA Tournament contest. The Sweet 16 matchup kicks off at 5 p.m. at Husky Soccer Field on the UW campus. Saturday's UW-Maryland winner advances to the quarterfinals to play the Boston College-Princeton victor at one of the competitor's campus sites to be determined. The Washington women will host postseason action for just the second time. The only previous NCAA Tournament games at Husky Soccer Field were played in 2000 when UW defeated Montana 5-0 in the second round before losing a 1-0 third-round decision to Portland. UW has matched its deepest foray into the NCAA Tournament as the 2000 squad also advanced to the round of 16.
Tickets for Saturday's NCAA game are priced at $7 with $4 admission for UW students and senior citizens. A special discount rate of $3 per person is available for groups of 25 or more. Advanced purchase of tickets is available now online at Washington's official athletic website (www.gohuskies.com). Tickets call also be obtained via telephone (206-543-2200) or in person at the Husky Ticket Office which is located in the first floor of Graves Hall.
How They Got Here
The Huskies opened the 2004 NCAA Tournament Friday (Nov. 12) with a 5-0 victory over Big South Conference champion Birmingham-Southern. On Sunday (Nov. 14) they defeated 22nd-ranked Auburn, the host school, by a 1-0 tally. Maryland travels to Seattle after registering a 1-0 second-round upset of No. 2 seed Penn State following a 3-0 blanking of Loyola (Mary.) College in the first round.
Finally They Meet
This matchup seems to have been destined to happen one way or another. The Terrapins and Huskies were scheduled to meet during the regular season, but the game was never played. Washington took a trip to College Park, Md. for a Sept. 17 contest, but the game was canceled due to thunderstorms and a tornado warning.
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 eight third-round games to be played on campus sites on Nov. 19, 20 or 21 and 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.
UW is participating 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. Washington improved its all-time NCAA Tournament record to 6-6-1 with Sunday's 1-0 win at Auburn. 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. 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 penalty kicks. That was the only tiebreaker in which Washington has been involved.
Higgins Returns to Northwest
Sixth-year Maryland coach Shannon Higgins-Cirovski returns to the state of Washington where she graduated in 1986 from Mount Rainier High School. She guided the Terrapins to four NCAA Tournament appearances and has collected two ACC Coach of the Year awards. In 2002, Higgins became the third female inducted into the National Soccer Hall of Fame. She played on four national title teams at North Carolina and scored the game-winning goal in the 1987, 1988 and 1989 championship games. Higgins was the 1989 National Player of the Year, capping a career during which the Tar Heels compiled an amazing 89-0-6 record. She helped the U.S. to the 1991 World Cup title, playing on the National Team with UW assistant coach Amy (Allmann) Griffin.
Scouting Maryland (9-6-4)
The Terrapins are coming off arguably the biggest win in their history, a 1-0 win that snapped Penn State's home winning streak at 39 games. Maryland is led by the nine goals of Mallory Mahar who hit the game winner at PSU. Goalkeeper Nikki Resnick has seven shutouts and a 1.08 goals against average. The Huskies lead the series 1-0 after beating Maryland 2-1 in last year's season opener on Tina Frimpong's 106th-minute golden goal.
The Huskies played 14 games this season against opponents from the 64-team NCAA Tournament field, registering an 11-3 record ... The top 16 tournament teams were seeded into the pairings. The only other seeded school remaining in Washington's bracket is No. 7 Princeton. Second-seeded Penn State was beaten Sunday by Maryland and No. 10 Florida was upset Friday by Central Florida ... Washington encountered a difficult schedule with nine opponents ranked in the current Soccer America top 25, including four of the nation's top-10.
Coach Lesle Gallimore's Comments
On the surge to the Sweet 16 - 'It's been a tremendous ride. You couldn't hope for anything more from a team.'
On third-round opponent Maryland - 'It is a little fateful that we were supposed to play at some point in time this year. We were prepared the last time and maybe we have to do a little bit more work this time, but at least we know about them. We're excited to play them next week. Maryland is a team that clearly has been underestimated by a few people because of their record. They are an ACC team that is well coached by Shannon Cirovski. On any given day they are going to beat any team in this tournament and you can't take them for granted.'
On this season's difficult schedule - '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.'
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.
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 Player of the Year honors with UCLA's Nandi Pryce, is the first player to receive the Pac-10's top player award twice in her career. Frimpong leads the league with seven game-winning goals and 33 points while her 14 goals rank second. She helped guide UW 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 and distributed the game-winning assist in the second-round win at Auburn. 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 1997-2000 by current UW assistant coach Tami Bennett. Frimpong also owns the UW records for career game-winning goals (17) and total points (95). 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.
The first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament took Washington 2,200 miles away from home, to Auburn, Alabama. A road trip was nothing unique for the Huskies who have played 14 of their 21 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 during that span, at Maryland on Sept. 17, was canceled due to thunderstorms and a tornado warning. Before the regular-season ending two-game homestand, UW played 12 of its previous 14 games on the road.
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 six, 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 (129) and conference wins (52). Gallimore is directing UW in 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 161-103-23, including a 129-78-14 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.
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.
UW's Last Game
#15 UW 1, #22 Auburn 0 (Nov. 14, 2004; Auburn, Ala.)
Senior Kelley Schweighart netted the lone goal on brilliant 18-yard shot early in the first half, lifting 15th-ranked Washington to a 1-0 second-round victory over No. 22 Auburn at AU Soccer Complex. UW dispatched Birmingham-Southern 5-0 in Friday's first-round to reach the second round of the playoffs for the fifth time in eight NCAA appearances. Sunday's victory helped the Huskies match their longest foray into the tournament as they were also Sweet 16 participants in 2000. Schweighart scored what proved to be the decisive goal on the first shot of the game. Tina Frimpong set up the scoring play, getting open in the right corner before feeding a pass to the top of the box. Schweighart collected the pass and directed a strike from the right side into the upper left corner of the goal at 7:04. That was her fourth goal of the season and third game-winner. Washington had numerous opportunities to extend its lead, the best being a blast by Frimpong in the 68th minute that hit the crossbar. She gathered the rebound and sent a subsequent shot over the goal. Auburn (15-4-2) lost for only the second time in its last 14 games. The Tigers most dangerous scoring opportunity came with 12 minutes remaining in the game when Courtney Crandell's 20-yard free kick glanced off the crossbar and over the goal. Sophomore goalkeeper Kelsey Rasmussen registered four saves for the Huskies who were outshot by a slim 10-9 margin. Rasmussen has nine shutouts this season, including a current streak of four consecutive games without surrendering a goal. Megan Rivera was credited with three saves for Auburn.
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).
Washington finished third in the Pacific-10 Conference standings with a 5-3-1 record. The Pac-10 produced five postseason teams as Washington was joined by No. 13 seed Arizona, No. 14 UCLA, California and Stanford. UCLA is the only other Pac-10 school still competing.
Washington rose two spots to No. 15 in the final regular-season Soccer America magazine poll released Nov. 8. The Huskies are No. 12 in the Soccer Buzz poll. They were ranked No. 14 by both Soccer Times and the coaches' poll conducted by the NSCAA. UW was not ranked in the preseason polls.