Undefeated Huskies Set to Host Husky/Nike Invitational

Sept. 2, 2008

Complete Release in PDF Format Get Acrobat Reader

Husky Soccer Field, Seattle, Wash.Fri., Sept. 5, 2008

4:30 p.m. - Portland (2-1-0) vs. Kennesaw State (2-0-1)
7 p.m. - Washington (2-0-0) vs. Colgate (1-2-0)
Live scoring at GoHuskies.com

Sun., Sept. 7, 2008
11 a.m. - Portland vs. Colgate
1:30 p.m. Washington vs. Kennesaw State
Live scoring at GoHuskies.com

Washington opens the home portion of its 2008 schedule this weekend as they host the 14th annual Husky/Nike Invitational at Husky Soccer Field. Colgate, Kennesaw State and Portland fill out the field, with both the Red Raiders and the Owls making their first visit to Seattle. Portland, meanwhile, is a veteran to the tournament having competed in all 13 previous events.

Portland will open the weekend Friday at 4:30 p.m. against Kennesaw State followed by Washington's home opener against Colgate at 7 p.m. On Sunday, Portland will take on Colgate at 11 a.m. followed by the Huskies and Kennesaw State doing battle at 1:30 p.m. The champion will be determined by overall record, with the tiebreaker going to head-to-head competition followed by goal differential, goals scored and goals allowed, if needed.

The Huskies scored two big road wins in their opening weekend, shutting out Montana, 3-0, on Thursday and coming back to defeat Gonzaga, 2-1, on Sunday. Juniors Veronica Perez and Alex Kirk carried the Huskies, with Perez netting a goal in each game, including the game-winner in Sunday's victory, while Kirk provided the assist on three of the Huskies' five goals over the two games.

The weekend also marked the debut of several talented freshmen, including two-time Washington state Player of the Year Kate Deines, who recorded her first goal just 33 minutes into her career. Four other freshmen made their collegiate debuts over the weekend. Additionally, junior Alex Phillips recorded her first career shutout in the 3-0 victory over Montana.

HUSKY/NIKE INVITATIONAL HISTORYThe Husky/Nike Invitational tournament has been dominated by Washington and Portland in its 13-year existence, with each team emerging victorious six times. Last season, Purdue became the first non-Northwest team to break through with a victory in the tournament after Portland had won the previous two seasons and Washington emerged victories the three tournaments before that.

The tournament began in 1994, which Washington won for the first of its three consecutive titles before Portland broke the streak in 1997 and went on to win the next four times the tournament was held.

The Huskies make their home debut Friday against Colgate, which comes into the weekend with a 1-2 record. After dropping their first two games of the season, both 2-1 decisions, the Red Raiders rebounded with a 1-0 overtime win over Marist at the Puma Raider Invitational to get into the win column. Colgate returns eight starters this season after finishing the 2007 campaign with a 10-8-1 overall record and a 3-4 record in the Patriot League. Freshman Danielle Wesler currently leads the team with three points. Friday will mark the first-ever match between Washington and Colgate.

SCOUTING KENNESAW STATEMaking their first appearance in the Husky/Nike Invitational and taking on Washington for the first time, the Owls currently own a 2-0-1 record, not including a match Tuesday evening against Berry College, one of the top NAIA programs in the country.

The Owls went 17-4 last season and advanced to the NCAA Tournament before falling to Florida State in the first round. They return seven starters from that squad including first team All-Atlantic Sun Conference selections Maylee Attin-Johnson and Caitlin Dingle. This season, the Owls have outscored their opponents 12-2 in three games with five of the 12 games being scored by a Kennesaw State newcomer. Three freshmen have also combined to contribute seven assists.

Portland is once again one of the top teams in the country and a threat to advance to the College Cup in December. The Pilots were ranked No. 6 in the NSCAA/adidas pre-season poll and are coming off a big win against defending national champion USC on Monday.

The Vikings won their first match of the season before falling to #1/#2 (Soccer Buzz/NSCAA) UCLA on Saturday, 1-0. They bounced back with a 1-0 overtime victory over the #7/#1 Women of Troy on Sophie Schmidt's goal in the 97th minute. Portland returns five starters this season to a squad that went 18-4 last season and advanced to the NCAA Elite Eight.

While Washington and Portland will not face each other in the Husky/Nike Invitational, they will square off later in the season in Portland on Oct. 3.

The Huskies will once again feature a challenging schedule in 2008 as they take on seven opponents ranked in the NSCAA pre-season top 25 poll. UW will also face nine teams that appeared in the 2007 NCAA tournament, including defending NCAA champion USC and national semifinalist UCLA. Of the seven ranked teams the Huskies will face in 2008, four come from the difficult Pac-10 conference.

With just four seniors on the squad, the Huskies will rely on a handful of juniors and sophomores to help carry the load in 2008. They will also look for contributions from a strong freshman class, which was rated No. 33 in the country by Soccer Buzz.

The rookie class is headlined by two-time Washington state Player of the Year Kate Deines, who amassed 76 goals in her high school career at Issaquah High School. Also looking to make an immediate impact is goalkeeper Kari Davidson, who enjoyed a standout high school career at Jesuit High School in Portland, Ore.

Speaking of Deines, she showed no rookie nerves in her first collegiate match, scoring her first goal just 33 minutes into her career. Deines was the only freshman to start for either squad in UW's opening contest at Montana and not only did the freshman net a goal for the Huskies, she also tied for the team lead with four shots in the match.

Junior Veronica Perez has made a big impact in each of the Huskies first two victories, scoring a goal in each. She put the icing on the cake in Washington's 3-0 victory over Montana to open the season, sending in a penalty kick to seal the victory. She then scored her first career game-winning goal two days later, putting on some dazzling moves before sending in a 15-yarder in the 81st minute to break a 1-1 tie against Gonzaga and give the Huskies their second victory of the season.

Junior Alex Kirk has been quite unselfish in the first two games this season, assisting on three of the Huskies' five goals. She has already matched Veronica Perez and Melissa Beal's team-leading total of three assists from the 2007 and 2006 seasons, respectively. In fact, no Husky has had more than three assists in a season since Nikki Gamble, Kim Taylor and Kelley Schweighart had six each in 2004, the year the Huskies reached the NCAA Elite Eight.

Tickets for all Husky home matches are on sale now either online at GoHuskies.com or by calling the Husky Ticket Office at 206-543-2200. Tickets may also be purchased at the field on game day. Individual tickets prices are $6 for adults, $4 for children/seniors and $3 for groups of 15 or more purchased in advance.

Washington will be without the services of former National Team goalkeeper and Associate Head Coach Amy Griffin for part of the season as she heads to New Zealand with the Under-17 Women's National Team for the first-ever U-17 World Cup.

Griffin, who was in goal when the U.S. won the first-ever women's World Cup in 1991, has been the goalkeeper coach for the U-17 team the past two summers. She recently led the team to victory in the CONCACAF Women's Championship in Trinidad & Tobago, giving the team a berth in the World Cup, which takes place Oct. 28-Nov. 16 in New Zealand.

Former Husky goalkeeper Hope Solo played perhaps the best game of her international career when it mattered most, shutting out Brazil, 1-0, to lead the United States to the gold medal in the 2008 Olympics Games in Beijing, China.

Solo, a two-time All-American and the 2001 Pac-10 Player of the Year, registered six saves in the match, none bigger than two key saves late in regulation and overtime which preserved the win. Solo posted three shutouts in six games in Beijing, the biggest coming in the match that gave the U.S. their third gold medal in women's soccer and Solo's first.

Husky head coach Lesle Gallimore is in her 15th season at the helm of UW, the longest tenure of any Pac-10 coach. She ranks second on the Pac-10 coaching charts in all-time victories (144) and conference wins (56). She needs just two victories to move into sole possession of second place for Pac-10 victories.

The Huskies were picked to finish eighth in the Pac-10 coaches' preseason poll. Among the team's ahead of UW are Stanford, who was tabbed as the favorite to win the conference, and 2007 College Cup participants UCLA and USC, who were picked second and third, respectively. USC is the defending NCAA champion while UCLA is the defending Pac-10 champion. Stanford received six first-place votes, UCLA three and USC one.

California was picked to finish fourth, followed by Arizona State and Washington State, who tied for fifth in the voting. Oregon came in just ahead of Washington at seventh. Arizona and Oregon State round out the poll in ninth and 10th, respectively.

All Husky home games will be streamed live via Gametracker on the Huskies official website, www.gohuskies.com. Most away games can also be followed via the internet, including this weekend's games at Montana and Gonzaga. Check the GoHuskies.com website to find links to all the action.

Now on Pac-12 Network
9:30 AM PT

Airing on:

  • Pac-12 Network