SEATTLE -- Washington moved back to a level .500 record with a third-straight win, this time defeating Gonzaga, 1-0. The Dawgs improved to 4-4-0, digging out of an early season hole to enter the conference season with some momentum.
Washington started quickly with two dangerous chances in the opening seconds. First, Lindsay Elston sent a cross from the right wing that bounced through the box to a wide open Allie Beahan. Beahan decided to crack first time and sent a powerful shot on goal, but right at the Gonzaga goalkeeper.
Seconds later, Isabel Farrell tried to pick up where she left off, sending a cross into the box towards the head of Elston. The pass was just high and sailed across the touch line without incident. Farrell was coming off a school-record tying four assists and nearly had another very early on.
In the 30th minute, the Dawgs took a 1-0 lead when Elston won a ball in the air in the Gonzaga defensive third. Elston shouldered the ball towards goal where Kate Bennett was quick to react, gaining possession and turning. The California transfer then fired a perfect shot into the top right corner for her first goal as a Husky.
Bennett came into the game leading the Huskies in shots, but finally found the result she was looking for with a terrific goal.
Washington kept the pressure up, controlling much of the possession for the half. Both UW and Gonzaga finished with six shots in the half.
After the break, Gonzaga began to pick things up, particularly in the final 15 minutes. Washington attacked less and instead tried to protect the narrow lead.
Late in the half, while still holding the shutout, Megan Kufeld went down hard after a collision with a Gonzaga player. Kufeld shook it off and stayed in the game. Moments later, she was tested when Gonzaga hit a shot on frame headed for the side net. Kufeld reacted quickly and made a spectacular diving save to keep the shutout intact.
The Dawgs hung on from there, avoiding another Gonzaga goal when a shot hit the cross bar. Kufeld earned her third shutout and has allowed just three goals in seven games since the opener.The Dawgs now begin Pac-12 play next weekend when they travel to Corvallis to take on Oregon State on Friday at 7 p.m. The Dawgs also have a home game next weekend as Portland comes to town for the final non-conference game on Sunday at 2 p.m.