Huskies Open 2009 Season With Pair Of Home Games This Week

Aug. 26, 2009

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Opening Week Schedule

Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2009
Seattle (2-0-0) at No. 24 Washington (0-0-0) • 7 p.m. PT
Husky Soccer Field • Seattle, Wash.
Live stats available via Gametracker and live audio and video at

Sunday, Aug. 30, 2009
No. 4 Portland (1-0-0) at No. 24 Washington • Noon PT
Drake Stadium • Los Angeles, Calif.
Live stats available via Gametracker and live audio and video at

The Washington women's soccer team kicks off its 2009 season this week with a pair of home games against their Northwest rivals. The season begins on Wednesday, August 26 when the Huskies take on intra-city rival Seattle, their first official match-up since Seattle switched to Division I last season. Then on Sunday, August 30, the Huskies take on No. 4 Portland, their first of seven games against teams ranked in the pre-season top 25.

The Huskies have high hopes for the 2009 season after a solid campaign in 2008 in which they finished tied for third in the Pac-10 conference and advanced to the NCAA Second Round. Their 15-6-1 record marked the third-most wins in school history and proved to be one of the biggest turnarounds in NCAA history after the 2007 team went just 5-13-1. With 10 starters and 19 letterwinners returning, the Huskies hope to be even better in `09.

UW made its ninth NCAA tournament berth last year, which completed a full-circle comeback for the Huskies, who saw the highest of highs and the lowest of lows over a two-year span in 2004 and 2005. After a program-best NCAA Elite Eight finish in 2004, UW went 0-17-3 in 2005. The Huskies went through a two-year rebuilding process in 2006 and 2007 when they won seven and five games, respectively, before bouncing back last season to post a 15-6-1 record - the third-most wins in school history - and a 5-3-1 Pac-10 record, tied for third with 2007 national champion USC.

The Huskies started 2008 winning their first seven games - the second-best start in program history - before falling at Illinois. After two wins to improve to 9-1, the Huskies faced one of the most brutal stretches of any team in the country, playing at No. 4 Portland, at No. 9 USC, at No. 2 UCLA and at home against No. 5 Stanford, all in succession. While the Huskies lost all four matches, they forced both Portland and USC into overtime, proving they could hang with the best.

UW then finished the regular season on a six-game unbeaten streak, defeating then-No. 13 Cal, Oregon and Oregon State, before settling on a 0-0 draw with Washington State. The Huskies closed out the regular-season slate with wins at home over the Arizona schools. They won their first NCAA Tournament game since 2004 in dramatic fashion, a 3-2 overtime victory over LSU, before falling to host Texas A&M.

The Huskies had just three seniors on the roster last season and were largely carried by a group of freshmen and sophomores. The key cog, however, was Veronica Perez, who led the team as a junior in goals (13), shots (71), game-winning goals (6) and tied for the team lead in assists (6). Perez and fellow All-Pac-10 and All-Region selection Kate Deines will look to carry the Huskies back into the tournmament in 2009.

The Huskies begin the 2009 season ranked No. 24 by and they also received votes in the Soccer Times poll, garnering 36 votes, the most of any team outside the top 25.

UW reached a season-high of No. 16 in 2008 by Soccer Buzz and was also ranked as high as No. 18 in the RPI after a brutal schedule in which they played five teams ranked in the top-10. The Huskies have an equally impressive schedule in 2009, facing four teams ranked in the preseason top-10 and six ranked teams overall.

Live stats from this week's matches will be available via Gametracker on UW's official website, Live audio and video will also be available for both games on

Husky head coach Lesle Gallimore enters her 16th season at the helm of UW, the longest tenure of any Pac-10 coach. With five Pac-10 wins last season, she moved into sole possession of second place all-time in conference victories and now has 61 in her career, trailing only UCLA's Jillian Ellis (80). Gallimore also ranks second on the Pac-10 coaching charts in all-time victories (157).

Despite finishing tied for third last season and losing just one full-time starter, the Huskies were picked to finish fifth in the always difficult Pac-10 conference. The Huskies were picked to place eighth last season before posting a 5-3-1 record to tie for third with 2007 national champion USC.

Stanford was chosen by Pac-10 coaches as the top team in the conference after their run to the College Cup last season, while fellow College Cup competitor UCLA was picked second. The Cardinal earned six first-place votes and 78 total points while the Bruins picked up the other four first-place votes and had 76 total points.

USC came in at No. 3 with 61 points and Cal was just ahead of UW with 58 points while the Huskies tallied 46. Right behind the Dawgs are Washington State (45), Arizona State (29), Oregon (27), Oregon State (16) and Arizona (14).

The Redhawks are in their second season at the D1 level after going 12-5-3 in their inaugural season in 2008. Seattle returns 14 letterwinners and seven starters from 2008, and welcome 10 newcomers. Jamie Coe led the offense with 11 goals last season while midfielder Kara Kuttler led the team with seven assists and both return in Seattle's first season with a full schedule of D1 opponents. In goal, sophomore Madison Goverde returns after posting an impressive six shutouts last season.

The Redhawks are led by head coach Julie Woodward, who enters her 13th season at the helm of the Seattle women's soccer program. The team has had a winning record in each of her 12 seasons and the Redhawks advanced to the NAIA Regional championship in five consecutive seasons before moving up to D1, including reaching the NAIA Elite Eight in 2004. Seattle also captured three consecutive league titles under Woodward's leadership from 2000-02, and she was named conference Coach of the Year in all three seasons.

This will be the Huskies' first-ever match-up with the Redhawks since they moved up to Division I. The teams did play in UW's inaugural season in 1991 as well as in 1992 and 1993 when Seattle was NAIA. The Huskies won all three contests, including a 6-2 victory in `93.

The Pilots are once again ranked in the top-five heading into the season as they continue to be one of the most consistently good teams in the country. The two-time national champions are at it again as they have three players on the Hermann Trophy Watch List in senior goalkeeper Kelsey Davis, senior midfielder/forward Michelle Enyeart and junior forward Sophie Schmidt. The Pilots are ranked as high as No. 1 by and come in at No. 4 in the NSCAA and Soccer America rankings.

Portland went 20-2-0 last season and advanced to the NCAA Elite Eight but was missing three key players in postseason due to U.S. National Team committments. This season, the Pilots will not lose any players due to National Team committments for the first time since their 2005 NCAA title.

The Pilots hold a 19-2-1 edge over the Huskies and have not lost to UW since 2004 but the Huskies have been close over the last two seasons, dropping a pair of 1-0 contests. Last season, UW pushed Portland to overtime before the Pilots came up with a late goal to earn their second-straight 1-0 win over the Dawgs. The Huskies have never defeated Portland at Husky Soccer Field, earning both of their victories in Oregon. The closest UW has come to defeating the Pilots in Seattle was the inaugural match-up between the teams, a 1-1 tie in 1991.

In addition to joining the Husky team for a foreign tour of Brazil, Husky senior Veronica Perez also spent the 2009 summer with the Mexican National Team and the U.S Under-23 National Team. Perez was first invited to join the Mexican team down South early in the summer to train with the team and play in some exhibition matches. Later in the summer, she joined up with the U-23 U.S. team in England as they played a pair of friendlies with the English team.

Perez had a breakout season for the Huskies in 2009, leading the team in scoring with 31 points, the fifth-highest total in school history. She was named Second Team All-Pac-10 and All-West Region for her efforts and returns with a chance to become one of the most prolific scorers in UW history.

Former Huskies Hope Solo and Tina Ellertson (Frimpong) enjoyed plenty of success in their first season in the Women's Professional Soccer league, teaming up to lead the St. Louis Athletica into the WPS Super Semifinal before succumbing to eventual champion Sky Blue FC, 1-0. Both players made a huge impact on their team as each was named to the WPS All-Star Team and both are up for season-ending awards. Solo is one of six finalists for the WPS Player of the Year and is one of five finalists for Goalkeeper of the Year. Ellertson, meanwhile, is one of five finalists for the Defensive Player of the Year award. The Athletica finished second in the regular-season standings while Solo finished second in goals against average and shutouts.

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