Cross-Country Trip For NCAA Tournament Coming Up
SEATTLE - The Huskies will head to the NCAA Tournament for the second straight year, the first time making back-to-back NCAA Tournaments since 2014 and 2015. Washington has made the NCAA Tournament in the first season under a new head coach twice in a row now: under Nicole Van Dyke in 2020 and under Lesle Gallimore in 1994. This is Washington's 16th NCAA Tournament appearance: it has won at least one game in ten of those trips.
Washington will take on Liberty in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, the first-ever meeting between these two programs. The game will also be Washington's first game in North Carolina since 2002, when the Huskies beat #17 Duke 4-3 in double overtime and fell to #1 North Carolina 1-5.
Six available Huskies have NCAA Tournament experience already: Summer Yates, Kaylene Pang, Ameera Hussen, Olivia Van der Jagt, Sianna Simeonsma, and Karlee Stueckle. All but Stueckle of that group have started NCAA Tournament games before, with Yates, Pang, Hussen, and Van der Jagt all having started multiple NCAA Tournament games.
DEFENSE WINS CHAMPIONSHIPS
The Huskies allowed the fewest goals in the Pac-12 this year, giving up just 11 in 15 games. That mark is the fewest total goals in a single season in Washington history, edging out 2001's total of 12 goals allowed. Washington's team GAA of 0.73 is the best mark since 2017, when the Huskies had a 0.72 GAA. Washington has had just eight seasons in its history with a team GAA under 1.00: this year's mark is the third-best mark, behind 2001's 0.58 and 2017's 0.72.
One more point from Ameera Hussen or two more from Ruby Hellstrom would give either ten points on the season, joining Summer Yates in the double-digit club. If either of those players reaches ten points, it would give Washington its first duo with 10+ points since 2017, when Shannon Simon and Kimberly Keever each reached that mark. If both Hussen and Hellstrom reach ten points, it would be the first trio with 10+ points since 2015, when the foursome of Simon, Keever, Kelcie Hedge, and Amanda Perez reached that mark.
NO GOALS ALLOWED
Olivia Sekany enters the NCAA Tournament with a 0.68 GAA. That mark matches the lowest single-season GAA by a starter in Husky history, set by Hope Solo in 2001. Sekany is currently on a 388-minute shutout streak, her second shutout streak of 200+ minutes this year. Sekany led the Pac-12 in both GAA and shutouts this season. Her seven full shutouts are 11th in the country and the most by a Husky since Sarah Shimer's 11 in 2017.
Ameera Hussen scored the double-overtime golden goal against Oregon to win the game. Hussen has two golden goals in her career, both against Pac-12 opponents: Hussen also scored the double-OT winner against Arizona last year. Hussen and Olivia Van der Jagt are the only active Huskies to have scored golden goals. Hussen's 106th-minute goal against Oregon was the latest goal by a Husky since 2013, when Jaclyn Softli scored in the 108th minute against UNC Greensboro. Washington has not had a NCAA Tournament golden goal since 2014, when Kimberly Keever beat Missouri with a 92nd minute goal.
Kaylene Pang needs to play 74 more minutes to break the 1500-minute mark for the third consecutive year. Pang has now played 5201 consecutive minutes for the Huskies, starting each of Washington's last 55 games and playing every minute in all of them. The last time the Huskies played without Pang on the field was November 3, 2017, when Pang entered the game during the second half.
SHOOT YOUR SHOT
Washington has outshot 13 of its 15 opponents so far, with only Arizona State and USC outshooting the Huskies. 12 of Washington's opponents have had single-digit shots: the Huskies have been held to single-digit shots just four times all year. Seven of Washington's opponents have had one or fewer shots on goal. Only three opponents, Arizona State, Utah, and USC, have managed more than three shots on goal: the Sun Devils and Trojans had nine and Utah had four.
Make sure to follow the Huskies on social media at @UW_WSoccer.