Born July 15, 1980 in Seattle, Wash. ... Parents are James and Erica ... Father, James, was a yell leader at Washington from 1958 to 1963 ... Member of the National Honor Society ... Graduated from high school with a 3.7 grade point average ... Also recruited by California, Navy, Arizona and Montana ... Prep teammate of current Husky Suzanne Culpepper ... Double majoring in communications and political science ... Plans to serve an internship in Washington, D.C. following the season.
Three-year starter and stalwart of the stingy Husky defense ... Selected to the West Region team for the 2001 Soccer Festival in Chicago, but did not participate ... Played on the Washington state Select Team during the summers of 2000 and 2001. 2001 (Junior) - Played 19 games, starting all of them ... Helped fill the void in the central defense left by the one-year absence of first-team All-Pac-10 player Andrea Morelli who suffered a season-ending injury last summer ... Member of record-setting UW defense that set school marks for fewest goals allowed (12) and lowest goals against average (0.58) ... Ranked fourth on the team with nine total points ... Tied for fourth among Huskies with three goals ... Scored goals against Idaho (Sept. 9), Eastern Washington (Oct. 7) and Arizona State (Oct. 28) ... Distributed the game-winning assist in the 2-0 NCAA Tournament first-round win over San Diego (Nov. 16) ... A second-team All Pac-10 academic selection ... Received second-team academic All-America acclaim from the NSCAA and was a first-team West Region choice ... The recipient of UW's Jeannine Jensen Award for leadership and committment as voted by her teammates. 2000 (Sophomore) -- Started all 21 games on the UW defense which surrendered only 17 goals ... Garnered second-team All-Pac-10 acclaim ... Tied for fourth on the team with five goals ... Tallied the game-winning goal in a 1-0 victory over USC (Oct. 20) ... That goal, and her defensive play during a pair of 1-0 wins over highly ranked USC and UCLA, earned her Soccer America Team of the Week honors on Oct. 25 ... Scored two goals in the Huskies' 5-0 NCAA Tournament second-round win over Montana (Nov. 12) ... Also had goals against San Diego State (Sept. 17) and Gonzaga (Sept. 29) ... Helped anchor a defense that posted nine shutouts and limited 19 of 21 opponents to one goal or less ... An honorable mention Pac-10 All-Academic pick ... Voted the UW's Defensive MVP by her teammates. 1999 (Freshman) - Played six games before having her season cut short by a foot injury ... Attempted three shots ... Started the season's first six games before being sidelined by a stress fracture in her left foot ... Did not have surgery to repair the foot, but underwent extensive rehabilitation therapy.
WOODINVILLE HIGH SCHOOL
An all-league selection in both 1996 and 1997 ... Team won the KingCo Conference championship in 1996 and was a state qualifier ... Scored the winning goal against Eastlake in the 1996 league championships ... Also lettered in track & field ... Set a school record in the pole vault ... Scored 14 goals in 14 games as a defender in 1999 for the Washington Soccer Club ... Member of the Olympic Development Region IV team in 1995.
COACH GALLIMORE ON PIERCE
"It was tough for Vanessa to play as all out as she likes to without (Andrea) Morelli next to her. She had to be a little bit more composed and more conservative last year and that's not how Vanessa likes to play. But, when she's got someone that she knows as well as Morelli playing next to her who's going to cover for her, she can go all out. We're going to see the less kinder, gentler Vanessa Pierce this year than we saw last year, more of what we saw her sophomore year. Vanessa plays with so much heart and grit and determination. She is also dangerous on set pieces. She is someone who has tremendous leadership ability and you always want your center backs to be good leaders."
Year G/GS Shots Goals Assists Points GWG GWA
1999 6/6 3 0 0 0 0 0
2000 21/21 17 5 0 10 1 0
2001 19/19 21 3 3 9 0 1
Totals 46/46 41 8 3 19 1 1