UW Women Compete in Portland Soccer Tourney

Sept. 12, 2007

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Portland Invitational
Merlo Field (5,000) / Portland, Ore.

Washington vs. Yale, 4:30 p.m. PDT
Kansas vs. #4 Portland, 7:00 p.m. PDT

Washington vs. Kansas, 10:30 a.m. PDT
Yale vs. #4 Portland, 1:00 p.m. PDT

The Washington women's soccer team (0-4) plays four of its next five games on the road, beginning this weekend with its annual trip to the state of Oregon for the Portland Invitational. The Huskies meet Yale (1-2) in the opener on Friday, Sept. 14. Kick-off is 4:30 p.m. at Merlo Field where Kansas (0-3-1) and No. 4 Portland (3-1) clash at 7 p.m. On Sunday, Sept. 16 the teams exchange opponents as Washington meets Kansas at 10:30 a.m. and Yale plays Portland at 1 p.m.

Tournament Tidbits
Washington competed in 11 of the previous 13 Portland Invitationals, winning the title in 1999 and 2003. At last year's tournament, UW defeated Baylor 4-0 before losing 1-0 to Dayton. The Pilots won their tournament for the eighth time last season.

Last Week
Washington dropped a pair of 3-1 games in the Husky/Nike Invitational, losing to Purdue and Cal State Fullerton. Senior forward Dani Bridges (Maple Valley, Wash./Tahoma) scored both UW goals, the first off an assist from Veronica Perez-Murillo (San Mateo, Calif.) against Purdue and the second on a penalty kick against Fullerton.

About the Huskies
The Huskies opened the season with road losses to 2006 NCAA Tournament qualifiers Marquette (0-2) and UW-Milwaukee (1-2). UW returns eight starters from last year's team, including a quartet of players that started all 20 games. Katie Hall and Nikki Murray anchor a defense that limited 10 opponents to one goal or fewer. The midfield features junior Jenna Robison, an honorable mention All-Pac-10 selection. The top-five scorers return, paced by junior forward Melissa Beal who led all Huskies in goals during each of her first two seasons. Seniors Katy Dowling, Shuree Hyatt and second-team All-Pac-10 pick Dani Bridges lead an experience group of forwards. Beal netted UW's lone goal last weekend on an assist from senior Robin Alexander.

Nifty Newcomers
A huge group of 11 newcomers will battle for playing time, including a talented 10-player freshman class. The incoming scholarship group was rated as the nation's 17th-best recruiting class by SoccerBuzz.com. That publication singled out Washington as one of four schools with a 'breakthrough 2007 signing class.'

This Week's Opponents
Yale (1-2)
-- The Bulldogs defeated Bucknell 3-1 in their opener before losing 1-0 to Duke and 4-0 at North Carolina. Coach Rudy Meredith compiled a 128-78-14 record in 12 seasons at Yale, including an 8-7-2 record in 2006. The Bulldogs have a balances attack with Maggie Westfal, Becky Brown and Leslie Perez each scoring one goal. Goalkeepers Susan Starr and Ayana Sumiyasu share time in goal and have a 2.00 combined goals against average. Yale and Washington meet for the first time ever on Friday.

Kansas (0-3-1) -- The Jayhawks played two overtime games in their first four outings. Emily Strinden netted KU's lone goal, against Auburn. Goalkeeper Colleen Quin compiled a 1.86 goals against average. Ninth-year coach Mark Francis directed the Jayhawks to an 11-7-1 record in 2006. Sunday marks the first ever meeting between UW and Big 12 member Kansas.

Quoting UW Coach Lesle Gallimore
'There's been no reason we couldn't have gotten wins in our last three games. It's beneath my expectation, how we are performing this year up to this point. We've got Yale next and Kansas after that, on the road at Portland this weekend. We have to take those games very seriously. Hopefully we can get fired up and find out how to get goals on the opportunities we are getting and not give up bad goals.'

Next Week
Wednesday, Sept. 19 --

Washington vs. #4 Portland, 7 p.m. PDT
Husky Soccer Field (2,100) / Seattle, Wash.

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