UW Falls To Princeton, 3-1, In NCAA Quarterfinals

Nov. 26, 2004

PRINCETON, N.J. - The Washington women's soccer team had its deepest-ever NCAA tournament run come to and end Friday night as seventh-seeded Princeton booked a place in the College Cup semifinals with a 3-1, quarterfinal win over the 15th-seeded Huskies in front of a standing-room crowd of 2,804 at 1,500-seat capacity Lourie-Love Field.

What looked on paper to be a defensive struggle -- neither team had allowed a goal in their first three matches of the 64-team tournament -- featured more than its share of offense as each team's star forwards found the net. Princeton (19-2), which hosted each of its four NCAA tournament games thusfar, won its 18th straight home match and behind strong play from senior Esmeralda Negron and junior Emily Behncke while the Huskies' lone goal came from two-time Pac-10 Player of the Year Tina Frimpong (Vancouver, Wash.).

'My hat's off to Princeton,' said Husky head coach Lesle Gallimore. 'We all knew that they were going to be tough on their home field.'

The Huskies, who finished the season 17-5-1, were playing without several injured and ill players and were travelling the other side of the country for the second time in three weeks, a total of more than 11,000 miles just during the NCAA tournament.

'There were all kinds of built-in excuses,' Gallimore said, 'injuries, illnesses, travel. But we have no excuses. By the second half, Princeton was the dominant team.

The match was tied at 1-1 at halftime after a Frimpong goal had drawn the game even after Behncke had put the Tigers in front. However, Princeton struck early in the second half to take the lead before adding their third to put the match away. The Huskies, without ill junior forward Kim Taylor, never truly threatened to get back in the match after Princeton's third score.

Neither team had made much of a threat at goal before Princeton broke through with the match's opening goal. Behncke scored her 13th of the season and fourth of the NCAA tournament 8:05 in to the first half on an assist from freshman Diana Matheson. Behncke had, just a minute before, taken advantage of some sloppy passing in Washington's defensive back four to take an uncontested shot from about 20 yards out, but sent that effort well over the cross bar.

The Tigers continued to take the offensive after Behncke's goal. Negron weaved through the UW defense only to see her point-blank shot saved, and the Tigers held most of the possession in the first 20 minutes of the match in the Huskies' end.

Things evened out in the latter stages of the first half. Washington's first good scoring chance came with about 16 minutes left when Kelley Schweighart (Solana Beach, Calif.) ran onto a ball near the end line and crossed a slow-roller in front of goal. Neither of the several UW players in the vicinity were able to get a foot to it, however.

After Princeton got a sparkling run from Negron that nearly resulted in a 2-0 lead, Washington got its break when a long pass from Nikki Gamble (Oak Harbor, Wash.) found Frimpong. Princeton defender Elizabeth Pillion fell down to allow Frimpong to run free. The Huskies' all-time leading scorer then beat Tigers goalkeeper Emily Vogelzang and nearly dribbled the ball into the open net for her 16th tally of the season and fourth of the postseason, tying the score at 1-1 31:25 into the match.

The UW nearly took a lead when Schweighart found herself one-on-one with Vogelzang with about nine minutes left in the first. Schweighart attempted a low shot, but Vogelzang, 15 yards off of her goal line, dove low to her left to make the save.

With five minutes left, Princeton nearly took back the lead. A long, hard shot from Behncke was saved by Husky goalkeeper Kelsey Rasmussen (Gig Harbor, Wash.), but Negron was there to fire the rebound back in, forcing Rasmussen to dive in front of the short-distance shot to keep the score even.

The second half started much the same as the first, though Princeton needed less time to net a goal to take a 2-1 lead. This time, 50:32 into the match and just over five minutes into the second half, Negron accepted a pass from Behncke deep in UW territory and drove a low shot from left to right, slotting the ball past Rasmussen and into the side of the net. The goal was Negron's 20th of the season.

Negron then turned provided only five minutes later when her short cross was driven home by senior Kristina Fontanez, giving the Tigers a 3-1 lead with 34:36 left in the match.

The 2004 NCAA College Cup, women's soccer's final four, gets under way next Friday, Dec. 3, at Cary, N.C. The championship match is Sunday, Dec. 5.

NCAA WOMEN'S SOCCER TOURNAMENT -- Quarterfinal Round(#7) Princeton 3, (#15) Washington 1Friday, Nov. 26, 2004Lourie-Love Field; Princeton, N.J.

Scoring -- 1, PU, Emily Behncke (Diana Matheson), 8:05; 2, UW Tina Frimpong (Nikki Gamble), 31:25; 3, Esmeralda Negron (Behncke), 50:32; 4, Kristina Fontanez (Negron), 55:24.

Shots -- UW 10, PU 18.Saves -- UW 6 (Kelsey Rasmussen), PU 4 (Emily Vogelzang).Corner Kicks -- UW 5, PU 4.Fouls --- UW 5, PU 13.Offsides -- UW 4, PU 3.Attendance -- 2,804.Records -- Washington 17-5-1, Princeton 19-2-0.