UW Hosts Husky/Nike Invitational Women's Soccer Tournament

Aug. 29, 2006

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Husky/Nike Invitational
Husky Soccer Field (2,100) • Seattle, Wash.

Wisconsin-Milwaukee vs. #8 Portland, 4:30 p.m. PDT
Rhode Island vs. Washington, 7:00 p.m. PDT

Rhode Island vs. #8 Portland, 11:00 a.m. PDT
Wisconsin-Milwaukee vs. Washington, 1:30 p.m. PDT

The Washington women's soccer team (2-0) plays its 2006 home opener this weekend, serving as host for the 12th-annual Husky/Nike Invitational. The four-team tournament takes place, Friday, Sept. 1 and Sunday, Sept. 3 at Husky Soccer Field on UW's Seattle campus. Defending national champion Portland (0-1-1) meets Wisconsin-Milwaukee (2-0) in Friday's opener at 4:30 p.m. PST while the Huskies and Rhode Island (1-0) clash in the nightcap at 7 p.m. The teams exchange opponents for Sunday's action that begins at 11 a.m. with a Rhode Island-Portland contest. At 1:30 p.m. the Huskies meet UW-Milwaukee.

Ticket Tidbits
Advanced women's soccer tickets are available through the Husky Ticket Office either on-line (www.gohuskies.com) or via telephone (206-543-2200). Ticket kiosks open one hour before game time. Tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for youth 18-and-under and senior citizens. Group and Family Plans are also available for purchase in advance.

Tournament Format
All Nike Invitational games will be regulation 90-minute contests with two sudden-victory 10-minute overtimes if needed. Games tied after overtime will be declared ties. The tournament champion is the team with the best win-loss record. The procedures for breaking ties for the team title are as follows: 1) head-to-head record, 2) goal differential, 3) total goals scored. Along with a trophy for the team champion, awards will be given to the Offensive MVP and Defensive MVP as voted by the coaches.

Tournament History
Portland won its fifth Nike Invitational trophy last season, adding to its four straight titles from 1997-99 and 2001. There was no tournament held in 2000. Washington won its own tournament six times, winning three consecutive championships from 1994-96 and again from 2002-04.

The Husky/Nike Invitational Field
Washington (2-0-0)
-- The Huskies defeated Hawaii (1-0) and Oklahoma (2-1) to win the OKANA Hotels No Ka Oi tournament. The pair of one-goal victories was nice switch for the Huskies who were winless (0-17-3) in 2005 and were on the losing end of 13 one-goal margins. Junior midfielder Dani Bridges was named tournament MVP. Kelsey Rasmussen, Shannon Dillon and Katie Hall were also named to the all-tournament team.

Portland (0-1-1) -- The defending NCAA champion Pilots started slow with a 1-1 tie at Florida and 2-1 loss at Florida State. Fourth-year coach Garrett Smith must replace forward Christine Sinclair, the national player of the year. Senior goalkeeper Cori Alexander had 11 shutouts and a 0.36 goals against average in 2005. The defense includes Kari Evans who was voted the Most Outstanding Defensive Player at the 2005 Husky/Nike Invitational.

Rhode Island (1-0-0 pending Wednesday game) -- The Rams won their season opener 2-0 over Siena and have a Wednesday game at Providence before visiting Seattle. Second-year coach Zac Shaw led Rhode Island to an 11-9-2 record and a berth in the Atlantic 10 championship game last season. Sophomore Dora Larusdottir leads all returners with 19 points on seven goals and five assists. Friday marks the first meeting between UW and the Rams.

Wisconsin-Milwaukee (2-0) -- The Panthers opened the season 2-0 for the first time since 1997, posting wins over Sacred Heart and Bowling Green. Freshman Louise Vraney netted three goals and goalkeeper Ilana Bar-Av recorded two shutouts. Tenth-year coach Michael Moynihan guided UWM to the 2005 NCAA Tournament following the sixth straight Horizon League championship. Sunday is the first meeting between the Panthers and Huskies.

Quoting the Coach
'It's great, more so than any other season, to start out with two wins,' Coach Lesle Gallimore said. 'We're really excited to play at home and host the tournament this week. The Husky Invitational has always been a fun event for us and the home opener is always special.'

• Washington won six Husky/Nike Invitational championships and Portland won the other five.

• Nine of this year's 20 UW opponents competed in the 2005 NCAA Tournament, including championship game competitors Portland and UCLA. UW plays five of last year's Sweet 16 squads.

• Coach Lesle Gallimore begins her 13th season at UW. She ranks No. 2 among Pac-10 coaches in overall (132) and conference (52) victories.

2006 Preview
Washington returns eight starters from last year's team, including a quartet of players that started all 20 games. Seniors Cathy Roe (University Place, Wash./Curtis/Penn) and Shaela Ward (Lacey, Wash./North Thurston) play in the middle of a defense that limited 12 opponents to just one goal last year. They are supported by senior Kelsey Rasmussen (Gig Harbor, Wash./Bellarmine Prep), a three-year starting goalkeeper. The midfield features junior Dani Bridges (Maple Valley, Wash./Tahoma) who started every game in her first two collegiate campaigns. Also returning is leading scorer and part-time starter Melissa Beal (Portland, Ore./St. Mary's) who netted a goal in each of the team's spring games. A cadre of newcomers will battle for playing time, including a talented five-player freshman class. The offense is bolstered by the addition of junior Shuree Hyatt (Kent, Wash/Kentlake), a transfer who tallied eight goals in each of her two seasons at San Francisco.

2005 Review
One season after advancing within one game of the Final Four, the Huskies (0-17-3) last year suffered through the first winless season in program history. All but four games were decided by a one-goal margin for UW, which lost 10 games by similar 1-0 scores.

Kelsey the `Keeper
Anchoring UW's defense is senior goalkeeper Kelsey Rasmussen (Gig Harbor, Wash./Bellarmine Prep) who averaged 4.3 saves per game last season. A three-year starter, Rasmussen boasts a 1.35 career goals against average, the No. 6 mark in Husky history. She has 14 shutouts, the third-best career-figure in the UW annals. Rasmussen posted a UW season record 10 shutouts in 2004 along with a 1.13 goals against average while playing every minute. She was credited with 13 saves against Hofstra on Aug. 28, 2005, one shy of the school single-game record of 14.

The Head Coach
The 'Dean of Pac-10 Coaches,' Lesle Gallimore ranks No. 2 on the Pac-10 coaching charts in all-time victories (132) and conference wins (52). She directed UW to eight NCAA Tournament appearances, including an NCAA quarterfinal berth in 2004. Gallimore was named the Pac-10 Coach of the Year and National Coach of the Year by Soccer Buzz in 2000 after her Huskies posted an 18-3 record, won the Pac-10 title, received the No. 2 seed for the NCAAs and advanced to the Sweet 16. Gallimore has a 16-year record of 164-121-26, including a 132-96-17 mark in 12 seasons at UW. Prior to coaching the Huskies, Gallimore compiled a 32-25-9 record in four seasons at San Diego State.

Next Week
Portland Invitational
Sept. 8 & 10, Portland, Ore.

Now on Pac-12 Network
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