Huskies Open Season With Convincing Victory
Aug. 28, 2008
MISSOULA, Mont. - If Thursday night's season opener is any indication, Washington's women's soccer team is well on its way to restoring the program to its winning ways.
The Huskies received goals from a junior, sophomore and freshman as they defeated Montana, 3-0, at South Campus Stadium to win their opening match of the season. The loss dropped Montana's record to 0-3-0.
With just four seniors on the squad and 18 underclassmen, the Huskies are a young but talented team. More importantly, they are a hungry team, coming off three consecutive losing seasons following a program-best NCAA Elite Eight finish in 2004.
Sophomore defender Kendyl Pele (Kamiakin, Wash.) got the Huskies on the board early in 2008, sending in a shot from the top of the penalty box off a corner kick from junior Alex Kirk (Edmonds, Wash.) in the 19th minute. Kirk would add her second assist later in the half when her shot hit the cross bar, but freshman Kate Deines (Issaquah, Wash.) punched in the rebound to give the Huskies a 2-0 lead just 33 minutes into the game.
'With so many young players and this being the first game, you never know until you get out on the field how it's going to unfold,' Husky head coach Lesle Gallimore said. 'We tried to calm them down before the game quite a bit because everyone is antsy to get the first game under their belt. It was difficult for us to get possession at first but our players did a great job of weathering the play and getting their legs under them. When you get a goal early and get up 1-0, you get some confidence.'
The score remained 2-0 until late in the second half when junior Veronica Perez (San Mateo, Calif.) scored on a penalty kick in the 73rd minute, all but sealing the victory.
The three goals were a promising start for the Huskies, who did not record more than two goals in any of their 19 games last season and scored more than twice just on just two occasions over the last three seasons combined. They showed a much more potent offense from the outset, outshooting Montana 8-0 in the first half and finishing the game with a 14-4 advantage on shots.
Junior goalkeeper Alex Phillips (Park City, Utah), making just her second career start, made one save to post her first career shutout.
Deines, the Huskies' prized recruit who was a two-time Gatorade State (Wash.) Player of the Year, had an impressive debut for Washington. She tied for the team lead with four shots. Perez also had four shots while Kirk took three.
'She was tremendous today,' Gallimore said of Deines, who amassed 76 career goals in leading Issaquah High School to three state titles. 'She was the only freshman on the field to start and she really handled herself well. She was composed and really let her team play around her and didn't try to do too much. She fit in nicely, as we hoped.'
The Huskies return to action Sunday when they travel to Spokane, Wash., to take on Gonzaga at the brand new Gonzaga Soccer Field. Game time is slated for 1 p.m.