Huskies Hit The Road Looking To Stay Perfect

Sept. 9, 2008

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Portland Nike Invitational
Friday, Sept. 12, 2008
Washington (4-0-0) vs. San Diego State (2-2-1) • 3 p.m.
Merlo Field • Portland, Ore.

Sunday, Sept. 14, 2008
Washington vs. Northern Arizona (2-3-1) • Noon
Merlo Field • Portland, Ore.

Following a pair of wins in their own Husky/Nike Invitational to improve to 4-0-0, Washington hits the road again for the short trip down I-5 for the Portland Nike Invitational. The Huskies will face San Diego State on Friday at 3 p.m. followed by a battle with Northern Arizona on Sunday at Noon. It will mark the second consecutive weekend UW will be in a tournament with Portland but will not face the sixth-ranked Pilots. The teams will do battle in October when Washington travels back down to Portland for a match on Oct. 3.

The Huskies have taken part in Portland's tournament 13 times in the 17-year history of the program, compiling a 10-12-2 record. UW went 2-0 in last year's Portland Invitational, defeating Yale, 2-1, and Kansas, 2-0.

Washington continued to show a much-improved offense and a solid defense in defeating Colgate, 4-1, Friday and Kennesaw State, 2-0, on Sunday to go undefeated in the 14th annual Husky/Nike Invitational at Husky Soccer Field. The two wins give Washington a 4-0-0 record, its best start since kicking off the 2004 season 8-0 en route to an NCAA Elite-Eight finish.

Against Colgate, Kelly Joswick made history by scoring just 37 seconds into the match, the fastest goal in UW women's soccer history. Colgate responded in the 14th minute, but Veronica Perez put the Huskies back on top - this time for good - with a goal in the 40th minute. She would later score her fourth goal in three games late in the second half and Tess Bartlett added her first career goal in the 89th minute to give UW the 4-1 win.

The Huskies took a little longer to get on the board against Kennesaw State, waiting until Melissa Beal's second goal of the season in the 42nd minute. Freshman Kari Davidson got her first start in goal for UW and held the Owls scoreless to record her first college win and shutout. Perez added her fifth goal of the season on a penalty kick in the 63rd minute to seal the deal.

Although Washington went undefeated at 2-0 in their own tournament, Portland was named the winner of the Husky/Nike Invitational by virtue of scoring an incredible 14 goals in their two wins. The sixth-ranked Pilots exploded for three goals in the first half and five in the second half to defeat Kennesaw State, 8-0, on Friday. Portland then scored five goals in the first half against Colgate on Sunday and cruised to a 6-0 victory to capture their seventh Husky/Nike Invitational crown. Washington has won the tournament six times while Purdue is the only team outside the Northwest to win the tournament, doing so in 2007.

Individual honors for the weekend went to Portland's Danielle Foxhoven, who was named the Offensive MVP after scoring five goals in the two games and contributing one assist while Colgate's Calista Victor was named the Defensive MVP.

The Huskies have already scored more goals in the first four games this season (11) than they did the entire 2005 season (8).

The Aztecs come into the Portland Nike Invitational with a 2-2-1 record. San Diego State is led by sophomore Cat Walker and junior Jessica Gordon who have each netted three goals this season. The Aztecs return 16 letterwinners and seven starters from a 2007 team that went 9-8-3 and 4-2-1 in the Mountain West Conference despite losing Walker to a knee injury. Second-year head coach Mike Friesen is looking to take the Aztecs into the post-season after posting the most wins by a first-year coach in the school's 19-year women's soccer history.

This weekend marks the eighth meeting between the Huskies and San Diego State, the school where Husky head coach Lesle Gallimore began her head coaching career. Washington holds a 5-1-1 series advantage but lost the last time the two teams squared off, a 1-0 decision at Husky Soccer Field in 2005.

Prior to that loss, Gallimore was 3-0 against her old team, which she coached from 1990-93 and led to a 32-25-9 overall record before becoming the head coach at UW in 1994.

The Lumberjacks head into the weekend with a 2-3-1 record after dropping a tough 1-0 decision to Texas Christian last weekend. NAU was without a pair of starters and will look to bounce back from two recent home losses. The Lumberjacks are led by junior Cee Cee Odorfer, who has tallied three goals and four assists in six games, along with sophomore Sam Monahan who has contributed two goals and three assists. Odorfer, a two-time All-Big Sky selection, is coming off an injury that kept her out of the entire 2007 season. NAU went 7-7-5 overall and 2-4-1 in the Big Sky Conference in 2007.

This weekend marks the first-ever match between Washington and Northern Arizona. The Lumberjacks will be playing their second Pac-10 opponent this season as they opened up the 2008 campaign with a 4-2 loss to Arizona State.

Junior Veronica Perez has been the anchor of a much-improved Husky offense this season, scoring at least one goal in each of the Huskies' four games. She had one goal each in opening wins against Montana and Gonzaga, then notched two goals in a 4-1 win over Colgate, the second of which accounted for her second game-winning goal in as many matches. Perez made it a handful for the season, picking up her fifth goal on a penalty kick in a 2-0 win over Kennesaw State.

Sophomore defender Kendyl Pele was named to the national Team of the Week Monday, Sept. 8, after she helped lead the Huskies to two wins in the Husky/Nike Invitational. Pele and the Husky defense allowed just seven shots in their 4-1 win over Colgate and posted their second shutout of the young season in a 2-0 win over Kennesaw State, limiting the Owls to just four shots. KSU came into the weekend having scored 12 goals in their first four games.

Thanks in large part to Pele, the Huskies have allowed just two goals in four games this season after allowing nearly two goals a game in 2007.

Washington is ranked #10 in this week's Soccer Buzz West Region rankings, its highest ranking since 2004. The nine teams ranked ahead of Washington are all included in Soccer Buzz's top 30 national rankings, meaning the Huskies could sneak into the national rankings with two wins this weekend. The Huskies have not been nationally ranked since the end of the 2004, when they ranked as high as #10 in the final poll by the NSCAA.

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.

Davidson, meanwhile, got her first collegiate start against Kennesaw State in the Husky/Nike Invitational and recorded her first win and shutout in the 2-0 contest. Davidson made one save and it was a beauty, diving to her right to save a shot that was headed for the top left corner of the net.

The Huskies started four freshmen against the Owls. Besides Deines and Davidson, Sarah Martinez and Kerry Leslie also got the starting nods.

Husky senior Melissa Beal is inching closer toward putting her name in the Husky record books. Beal needs just two more goals to break into the all-time top 10 for career goals scored. With two goals this season, Beal now has 13 in her career, just two behind Jamie Carstensen (2000-03), Jana Wilson (1996-99) and Casey Dickerson (1995-98).

Beal also has one game-winning goal this season, giving her four in her career, one shy of breaking into the top-10 career charts in that category. One more game-winning goal for Beal would put her in a tie with six other players for ninth all-time.

Several Huskies have reached career firsts this season in a variety of statistical categories.

Four Huskies have recorded their first career goals, including sophomore Kendyl Pele and freshman Kate Deines, who both scored their first goals in the opener against Montana. Two more Huskies joined the club as sophomore Kellye Joswick scored her first goal and made history at the same time, scoring just 37 seconds into UW's 4-1 win over Colgate. Tess Bartlett got in on the action later in the game, scoring the Huskies' fourth goal of the game and the first of her career.

Alex Kirk not only got her first career assist against Montana but picked up two in the game. Hannah Greig, Jane Mitchell and McKenna Waitley have all recorded their first career assists this season. Junior goalkeeper Alex Phillips picked her first career shutout and victory in the 3-0 opening win over Montana.

Through four games this season, Washington's defense has been among the stingiest around, allowing just two goals. Their 0.5 goals allowed average ranks third among Pac-10 teams, trailing only #1 UCLA and #3 Stanford. Meanwhile, the Huskies sit last among Pac-10 in saves with just four saves thanks to a Husky defense that has allowed opponents to take just 18 shots in four games.

Individually, Veronica Perez's hot start has put her among the leaders in the ultra-competitive Pac-10. Perez's five goals ties her for the lead with Cal's Lisa Kevorkian and Stanford's Lindsay Taylor. Alex Kirk, meanwhile, is tied for the lead among Pac-10 players with three assists.

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.

Washington head coach Lesle Gallimore selected three players to serve as UW captains this season. All three are defenders as fifth-year senior Dana Stirn, junior Lindsey Kasser and sophomore Kendyl Pele will serve as the leaders on this year's squad.

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 (146) and conference wins (56). She needs just two victories to move into sole possession of second place for Pac-10 victories.

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.

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, Most away games can also be followed via the internet, including this weekend's games at San Diego State and Northern Arizona. Check the website to find links to all the action.

The Huskies will be on the road for two weeks before returning to Husky Soccer Field. Following this weekend's tournament in Portland, the Huskies head to the Midwest to face Purdue on Sept. 19 followed by a match at Illinois. The Huskies return home Sept. 26 and 28 when they host Utah and Hawai'i.

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