Defense Saves The Day In 2-0 Victory
SEATTLE - Goals by Lindsay Elston and Chelsea Archer plus huge saves by goalkeeper Kari Davidson and the Husky defense led the UW soccer team to a 2-0 season opening victory at Seattle U on Friday night.
In the 90+ degree weather, the Huskies (1-0) and Redhawks (0-1) were even for most of the first half until Husky junior Elston (Sammamish, Wash.) scored the game-winning goal on a penalty kick in the 29th minute. Elston place the ball perfectly on the ground to the left of the keeper, Brianna Smallidge, who dove right.
"For the first game of the season I'm overall pleased," said head coach Lesle Gallimore. "First games are always dicey because you don't know what you are going to put out there, but I thought we started out ok."
Fellow Husky junior Allie Beahan (Sammamish, Wash.) drew the PK after being fouled on the left side of the box.
No one got a shot off until the 19th minute of the game and that came from Seattle U's Stephanie Verdoia. Davidson (Portland, Ore.) made her first save of the season. Davidson played all 90 minutes in goal, picking up the shutout and making 11 saves.
Elston took the first Husky shot in the 24th minute on a free kick, but it was saved.
UW had four shots in the first half and SU had two. Each team had opportunities to score but UW held the possession a bit longer in the period.
Freshman Isabel Farrell (Bellevue, Wash.) earned the start in her Husky debut, getting an assist with a long pass to sophomore Chelsea Archer (Oakland, Calif.) in the 77th minute. Archer made a great run past her defender to go one-on-one with the goalie and scoot the ball to the left corner.
"Allie showed some craft by winning that penalty kick for us. We defended well," Gallimore added. "Kari was outstanding in goal. We had some great defensive plays and we withstood the flurry and were able to get a second goal on a great ball by Izzy and the goal by Chelsea."
Before that second UW goal, Seattle U was on fire, taking a 12-4 lead in the shot count and not letting UW get anything through the midfield.
All but one of Davidson's saves in goal came in the second half. Three different Redhawks took three shots each. The fifth-year senior was brilliant in goal, making several key saves off of headers, long shots and short ranged shots. Seattle U thought it had evened the match with about 25 minutes left on a corner kick as the ball went in the net, but a foul was called and the goal was waved off.
UW's first shot in the second half didn't come until there 14 minutes left in the game. After that, the Huskies got eight shots in the remainder of the game, including the second goal that seemed to deflate the Redhawks.
"For me in first games, you want to get the win and start the season with the W," Gallimore continued. "More importantly, you want see where you are and get a feel for things you need to work on to get better. It was good to get some of the newcomers in and get the nerves out in the first game."
The Huskies head to N.Y. to face Colgate and Syracuse next weekend.