Women's Soccer Hosts Final Two Non-Conference Matches

Sept. 30, 2009

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Husky Soccer Field, Seattle, Wash.
5 p.m. - Gonzaga (6-4-0) at Washington (6-2-1)

Husky Soccer Field, Seattle, Wash.
11:30 a.m. - Montana (2-7-0) at Washington


The Washington women's soccer team (6-2-1) returns home for their final two non-conference matches of the season, hosting a pair of Northwest teams as the front end of doubleheaders with the UW men's team. The Huskies will take on Gonzaga (6-4-0) on Friday at 5 p.m. before their final non-conference match against Montana (2-7-0) on Sunday at 11:30 a.m.

The Huskies had their first true road games of the season, traveling down to California to take on UC-Irvine and Cal-State Fullerton. The weekend saw UW go to overtime in both games - their first matches to go into extra time all season - and came away with a win and a tie to improve to 6-2-1. In the weekend's first game, the Huskies took the early lead on an Anteater own goal before Irvine came back to score two goals in a span of two minutes early in the second half. But the Huskies battled back and their leader Veronica Perez tied the game in the 88th minute to send the match into OT. Less than two minutes in, senior Nikki Murray connected from 30 yards out for the golden goal.

Murray was nearly the hero again on Sunday, this time sending in a goal from 20 yards out in the 89th minute to break a scoreless tie, but the Titans would dramatically tie up the game with eight seconds left in regulation to send it into extra time. Neither team could conver in the OTs and the Huskies settled for their first tie of the season.

A live video and audio stream with be available for both games this weekend along with live stats via Gametracker on GoHuskies.com. All of UW's home games this season feature live video and audio on GoHuskies.com with a Dawg Channel All-Access pass. Fans will need to create a login and password but all men's and women's soccer games are free of charge through this service.

Fans can follow the Washington women's soccer team on Facebook by going to www.facebook.com/UWWomensSoccer. Head coach Lesle Gallimore also has a Twitter account and fans wishing to follow the long-time Washington coach can go to www.twitter.com/LGSoccerdawg.

The Huskies are ranked 25th by TopDrawerSoccer.com for the third consecutive week. TopDrawer is the only one of the national polls to reward UW with a ranking this season, which they have done every week since the preseason poll. The Huskies are also receiving votes in both the NSCAA and the Soccer Times polls.

UW returns home this weekend after their first true road games in California last week. The Huskies had just two of their first seven games away from home before last week, compiling a 4-1 record at Husky Soccer Field, the lone loss coming at the hands of No. 3 Portland. UW went 7-1 at home last year.

The Bulldogs come into the match with a 6-3 record and have won three of their last four matches. They have already played a pair of Pac-10 teams this season, falling by 2-0 scores to both USC and No. 3 UCLA. GU has had a balanced scoring attack this season with three players scoring seven points apiece in sophomore Sarah Rhodes, senior Lori Conrad and junior Jessie Sorenson. Seniors Amy Danielson and Jessie Thalman have split time in goal, with Thalman leading the two with four wins - including a shutout - and 28 saves. The Zags had a tough year last season, going 7-10-3 but they return 10 starters from that squad. Gonzaga has been to the NCAA Tournament once, which came in 2005.

UW is 7-1-0 all-time against Gonzaga, including a 2-1 win last season in Spokane. Senior Melissa Beal scored the game-tying goal and current senior Veronica Perez scored the game-winner in the 81st minute to help UW improve to 2-0. The Bulldogs came away with their lone win in the series in 2005, a 1-0, victory in Seattle. Prior to that, UW had won the first six meetings between the teams dating back to their first match-up in 1992, which UW won 6-0 in Seattle.

The Grizzlies have had a tough go of it so far this season, going 2-7 and being shutout in five of their seven losses. It doesn't get much easier for Montana as they have to face No. 3 Portland on Friday before facing the Huskies. Montana has been led by junior and Seattle native Kaitlyn Heinsohn, who has tallied two goals and an assist to lead the team with five points, and sophomore Teresa Huemann, who has also chipped in two goals. Senior Grace Harris has been the team's top goalkeeper with a 1.97 GAA and 38 saves.

The Huskies have won six of the seven matches between the two teams, including last season's 3-0 win in Montana. Kendyl Pele, Veronica Perez and Kate Deines each scored goals in the season-opening victory, with Deines knocking in her first career goal. The last time the teams played in Seattle, UW came away with a 5-0 win in 2000 in the NCAA Tournament. Montana's lone win in the series came in 1997, a 3-2 Grizzlies win in Seattle. The teams first played in 1994 with UW winning 2-0 at home.

UW senior Nikki Murray is making the most of her final season in the Purple & Gold. After scoring just one goal and four points in her first three seasons combined, Murray already has three goals and two assists for a total of eight points in the first nine matches. Murray's goals have also proven to come at the best times as one of her goals was a golden goal, another tied a match and her third goal was the go-ahead score in UW's 1-1 tie with Cal-State Fullerton which came in the 89th minute. Most of the damage Murray has done has also been from off the bench as she has played in eight of nine matches this season but has started just once.

With her fourth goal of the season last week in UW's 3-2 overtime win over UC-Irvine, Veronica Perez now has 19 in her career which moves her into a tie for seventh on UW's all-time top-10 goal scorers list. After scoring twice her sophomore year, Perez broke out for a team-high 13 last season to put herself one shy of recent graduate Melissa Beal. Perez moved past Beal early in the season and now needs two more goals to move into a tie for sixth with Emily Thompson and three more to tie Caroline Putz for fifth. The all-time record of 43 is held by current WPS superstar Tina (Frimpong) Ellertson.

With nine points this season, Perez has also worked her way into the top-10 in that category, passing Jana Wilson (1996-99) and Torre to move up to 9th all time with 47 points. She needs three more points to move even with Emily Thompson (1992-95) for eighth all time. Ellertson tops that list with 99 points in her storied career. Perez also ranks No. 8 all time with her 164 shots.

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