Born May 4, 1982 in Renton, Wash. ... Parents are David and Susan ... Sister, Tami, is an assistant coach at Washington who completed her career in 2000 as the Huskies' all-time leader in goals (34) ... Graduated high school with a 3.3 GPA ... Also recruited by Portland and Notre Dame ... Lettered in basketball, softball and soccer all four years of high school ... Played on the U-16 U.S. National Team ... A Parade All-American her junior year ... The South County Journal girl's fall athlete of the year three years in a row, an award won her freshman year by sister, Tami ... Played with the Seattle Sounders Select team, helping them reach the 2003 W-League semifinals ... Majoring in sociology.
Three-year letterwinner who shattered UW's single-season assist record last year ... Is within striking distance of some other school records ... Has 21 career assists, just six shy of Caroline Putz' mark of 27 ... Her total of 53 points is 27 short of Theresa Wagner's record of 80 points... Her 16 career goals rank No. 7 among all-time Huskies ... Tied for fourth on the UW charts with five career game-winning assists ... Has five career game-winning goals, tying in the No. 7 spot in the UW record book ... Played with the Seattle Sounders Women's team ... Played on the 2001 Washington State Select Team ... Represented the West Region team at the 2001 Soccer Festival in Chicago from July 29-Aug. 5. 2002 (Junior) - One of only two players to start all 20 games, joining Andrea Morelli ... Garnered second-team All-Pac-10 honors ... Led the team with 34 points, the second-highest figure in UW history behind only the record of 36 established by her sister, Tami, in 2000 ... Distributed a UW single-season record 18 assists, the second-highest total in the nation last season ... Posted her 13th assist Nov. 4 to take over the UW single-season record ... Had five multiple-assist outings ... Tied Theresa Wagner's UW single-game record with four assists against Colorado College (Sept. 1) ... Had at least one goal or assist in 12 of 20 games ... A second-team All-Pac-10 selection ... Named the Pac-10 Player of the Week on Sept. 24 after registering a goal and three assists in Husky/Nike Invitational wins over Harvard and UC Irvine ... Voted the Offensive MVP of the Nike tournament ... Netted the game-winning goal in a 3-1 win over Harvard (Sept. 20) ... Capped the season with her first collegiate hat trick in a 5-0 win over USC (Nov. 10). 2001 (Sophomore) - Played 19 of 20 games, starting 14 of them ... Netted a "golden goal" in the sixth minute of overtime, lifting UW to a 2-1 win at Arizona State ... Also scored that weekend at Arizona ... Received Pac-10 Player of the Week honors on Oct. 29 for her efforts in the desert ... Tallied three goals to tie for fourth on the team ... Her eight total points tied for fifth among all Huskies. 2000 (Freshman) - Played 20 of 21 games, starting seven of them ... Tied for fourth on the team with five goals ... Ranked fourth among Huskies with 11 points ... Three of her five scores were game-winning goals, against San Francisco, No. 9 California and Montana ... Named to the Soccer America Team of the Week on Oct. 11 ... Tallied the opening goal in UW's 5-0 second-round NCAA Tournament triumph over Montana (Nov 12) ... Scored a goal against Eastern Washington (Aug. 26) in her collegiate debut ... Scored a goal in the same game as sister Tami on four occasions.
SEATTLE CHRISTIAN HIGH SCHOOL
The 1999 Gatorade State Player of the Year for Washington ... Amassed 166 career goals, breaking the Washington state prep record of 152 goals established by her sister, Tami Bennett ... Scored 50 goals her senior season ... Team won the state Class A title in each of her four seasons en route to seven consecutive championships ... Seattle Christian holds the state record with 66 wins in a row ... The team's record in her four seasons was 71-2 ... Garnered team MVP honors her final three years ... A first team all-league selection all four years ... Top game was an eight-goal, two-assist performance ... Earned first team all-league honors in basketball her sophomore, junior and senior years.
COACH GALLIMORE ON BENNETT
"We changed Melissa's role this spring and coming into the fall we decided that Melissa is the best ball-handler on our team under pressure. We've put her in a position where we feel like she is going to get the ball more and I don't think that will detract from her ability to get assists and goals. But it will definitely put our team in a better position to hold onto the ball. She is clearly, from being a leader to a great player on our team, a key to our success. She has such a great soccer mind, she is so skilled and she can finish."
Year G/GS Shots Goals Assists Points GWG GWA
2000 20/7 19 5 1 11 3 0
2001 19/14 28 3 2 8 1 0
2002 20/20 50 8 18 34 1 5
Totals 59/41 95 16 21 53 5 5
Bennett news and features:
Passing Fancy - gohuskies.com (Feb. 3, 2004)