Q&A With Lesle Gallimore
Well-known sports writer Jenna Pel recently posted a Q&A with women's head soccer coach Lesle Gallimore. Read the entire interview here: http://www.allwhitekit.com/?p=7336.
Lesle Gallimore has been head coach of the University of Washington's women's soccer team for nearly two decades. In that time, she's coached and developed the likes of Hope Solo, Tina Ellertson and Veronica Perez. She has also experienced the peaks and valleys that come with a long tenure.
Coach Gallimore caught up with AWK about the new season, the Huskies' current crop of talent, the World Cup, and getting a good start against BYU this Friday.
Washington made a deep run in the 2010 NCAA Tournament and progressed to the Elite Eight. Has the team elevated its expectations going into this year?
I don't know that we've elevated our expectations, we always have high expectations. If anything we want to improve from where we were on the whole last season. There are things each game that we can do better and learn from and that's how we'll approach this year. At the end of 2011 we'll look back and hopefully be really proud of how we played and what we achieved.
Washington has experienced a major turnaround as of late. The team went winless in 2005 and reached the Elite Eight five years later. What's been behind the recent success?
I've been here 18 years and all-in-all the majority of those years has been relatively successful. 2005 was a product of a perfect storm: 2004 Elite Eight Team graduate nine starters (85% of our point getters) and we had two highly touted freshmen that year medically disqualify. In 2005 we had 15 new players and played a brutal schedule...including opening on the road vs. the then #1 team in the country Penn State. We lost by a goal in overtime! It set the tone for a very, very young team, we had a difficult time holding leads, scoring goals and believing in ourselves..we lost 14 games by one goal...it was no easy task : ) We then built on that team for two more years before we could get back into the tournament...it was some of the toughest and best work we've done as coaches and I'm proud we're here to have seen it through to our recent success. The lesson was "don't ever graduate a group that big!" You really do need balance on your team, carry over from year-to-year, and a great blend of veteran and young players. We've become very particular about the type of player, student and person we recruit and it suits us and helps us be successful.
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