2012 Women's Soccer Preview: Goalkeepers
Aug. 13, 2012
SEATTLE - As the Huskies prepare for the season opener, the competition for the starting spot is just beginning, and according to head coach Lesle Gallimore, it most likely won't be settled easily or early in the season.
"Goalkeeping is always a battle and this year will be no different," says Gallimore.
The Huskies are fortunate to have a corps of goalkeepers that include captain and fifth-year senior Kari Davidson and redshirt freshman Megan Kufeld, both of which Gallimore calls "extremely capable" of taking over the starting spot. Incoming freshman Tori Burns joins the corps and will add depth for the Huskies.
Davidson, a native of Portland, Ore., started two years and played in three games before being injured during the 2010 season, using a medical redshirt for a fifth year of eligibility. Jorde LaFontaine-Kussmann, a senior on the 2011 squad, was the starter the last two years and losing her to graduation gives Davidson an opportunity to earn the starting spot once again. Davidson ranks third all-time in goals against average (1.20), fifth in shutouts (9), and sixth in saves (103). She also became only the sixth goalie in Husky history to record 100+ saves in her career.
Fighting Davidson for the top spot for goalkeeper is redshirt freshman Kufeld. Kufeld, hailing from Fremont, Calif., has yet to play in a game for the Huskies but is talented enough to give Davidson plenty of competition. Before joining the Huskies she played with the Mustang Earthquakes club team, who were the 2010 Golden State Soccer League Champions. She also played with the Region IV ODP team from 2006-2010, with whom she played in Costa Rica in 2008 and Portugal in 2010. Kufeld has also trained with the U.S. National Youth Teams.
Although Kufeld and Davidson possess varying skill and experience levels, Gallimore is confident in the abilities of both. "They have different strengths and their collegiate game experience is different, but we are very comfortable with both of them," she says.
Giving Davidson and Kufeld a run for their money is incoming freshman Tori Burns. Burns was a four-year letterwinner and team captain her senior year at Bishop O'Dowd High School in Oakland, Calif., earning all-league honors her sophomore and junior years. She was a member of the Mustangs soccer club, who won the 2010 Surf Cup in San Diego, the 2011 Cal North Championship in Sacramento, and the 2011 US Youth Soccer Far West Regionals in Boise. They also finished fourth in the 2011 US Youth Soccer National Championships in Phoenix, Ariz.
No matter which keeper earns that top spot, Gallimore's expectations are high for the goalkeepers--a position that is especially important to the Husky women's soccer program.
Says Gallimore, "Our goalkeeping is always a mainstay in our program, and we'll have three keepers duking it out for playing time; whichever one ends up in the net, she'll be expected to perform at a high level."
The 2012 season begins on Friday at Seattle U at 4 p.m. Check back on Tuesday for a preview on the defense.