No. 18 Huskies Head to North Carolina for Ranked Matchup
SEATTLE -- Not many teams in the country will face the challenge that the No. 18 Washington Huskies have chosen to start their season with. They will make the cross-country trip to the Tar Heel state to take on No. 3 North Carolina on Thursday at 4:00 p.m. and No. 6 Duke on Sunday at 9:00 a.m.. Both games will be streamed via ACC Network Extra.
UW and UNC are no strangers to each other, as it was the Tar Heels who eliminated the Huskies from the NCAA Tournament this past Spring in the Sweet Sixteen. Although UW had 13 shots to UNC's seven, the Tar Heels were able to find one goal, which was all they would need for the 1-0 victory.
It has been 19 years since Washington and Duke last played, with UW taking a 2OT thriller by a score of 4-3.
Thursday marks a new season, however, with new rosters and new goals.
Back for the Huskies are nine players from last year's roster that started double-digit games, including three players that started all 18 contests.
In net, Olivia Sekany returns after setting the Washington single-season record for GAA, a record previously set by Hope Solo in 2001.
Sekany's back line includes Shae Holmes, who started all 10 games she appeared in during the 2020-21 season. Kala McDaniel emerged late in the season as a key part of the defense, starting nine contests and playing every second of the NCAA Tournament. Tasia Kravitz made 12 starts on defense as well. Mary Johnston is one of the three returning Huskies who started all 18 games last season and is a dynamic option for head coach Nicole Van Dyke. Entering the fold is Texas transfer Peyton McGee, who started all 12 games she played in during the 2020-21 season for the Longhorns and who brings a healthy amount of power five experience to the UW squad.
The Washington midfield duo of Ameera Hussen and Olivia Van der Jagt is as good a 1-2 punch as there is in the country. Hussen was named First Team All-Pac-12 last season and was the team's leading goal-scorer with 5, including three game-winners. Van der Jagt was named Third Team All-Pac-12 after starting all 18 games and collecting seven points (2G/3A).
There is no shortage of depth in the attacking ranks for the Huskies. Second Team All-American Summer Yates is back after leading the team with 12 points (4G/4A). She is joined by the likes of Karlee Stueckle (18 starts, 5 points) and Ruby Hellstrom (15 starts, 8 points). Margaux Clarke also emerged as an option at the end of the season, starting two games in the Tournament at forward. Oregon State transfer McKenzie Weinert joins UW after scoring 13 goals in her Beaver career.
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