The University of Washington Husky Women are riding a wave of having produced some very prolific soccer players via their program. The school advanced to the Elite Eight in the NCAA’s in 2010, and has produced such talents as Hope Solo, Tina Frimpong Ellertson, Veronica Perez and Kate Deines, amongst others. The Sounders Women featured eight Huskies on their roster this season. Other Dawgs played for new local sides in the Women’s Premier Soccer League (WPSL).
See a recent UW feature on Hope Solo in the video below.
Washington opens its season on August 17 at Seattle University. The school also just announced a match with Notre Dame has been relocated to Seattle on September 9th.
One of the new players who will be interesting to watch is Bellevue native Isabel Farrell. Farrell was named Washington’s 2012 Gatorade Player of the Year. (Video) TopDrawerSoccer.com rates her at 5 stars, number one prospect in the Northwest, number three midfield prospect in the country, and number seven player overall.
Washington is building to improve on a 2011 Pac-12 campaign that saw the school finish 7th with a 7-8-5 overall record. Head Coach Lesle Gallimore enters her 19th season at the helm of the Dawgs. Gallimore is 189-150-31 all-time at Washington. We asked the head coach about her 2012 squad. See our Q & A session below.
GW: How would you describe your incoming class?
Lesle Gallimore: We have an outstanding incoming class of freshmen, as well as a talented transfer from Cal in Kate Bennett. Izzy Farrell in the midfield is the stand out; she’s a local product has played at a high level with the Youth National Teams and this summer with the women’s Sounders; she will have the easiest time transitioning to the college game and demands. (Bennett and Farrell are both from Bellevue, WA)
What are your specific pre-season / training goals? What’s new this fall in your program?
We put a much bigger emphasis between last season and this season on our overall “periodization”; that is to say “when we are doing what” and what the focus is; we are focused on being game fit and recovering well during our season; we are focused on being healthy and preventing injuries as much as possible. With 10 new players (and 8 that will be able to play…one will red-shirt because of transfer rules and one is questionable because of where she is in her ACL reconstruction rehab) there will be a big emphasis early on trying to figure out the best “system” or way to play; we have some ideas based on our spring and what we’ve seen from players with their summer teams, but putting that all together will be the fun part. What’s new? Hmmm, certainly not me, but each year I try to bring a newness to the program…from our approach to training, meetings, video, fitness, and just overall trying to keep things as fresh for everyone so that each season there is a uniqueness, although still steeped in tradition, to our season.
What are the challenges / opportunities inherent in your 2012 match schedule?
Travel, travel and more travel, but that’s happened before and our team deals with it okay. Two trips to altitude will be interesting, but if we’re fit, it shouldn’t be an issue. We will take every game as it comes and approach it with confidence because we’re prepared and regardless of who is on the other side of the ball we will play to win.
Who are 3-4 players you’ll rely on this season for success? Why are they important?
Our goalkeeping is always a mainstay in our program, and we’ll have 3 keepers duking it out for playing time; whichever one ends up in the net, she’ll be expected to perform at a high level..no “soft” goals allowed. We have a big junior class with A LOT of games under their belt and an Elite Eight experience from their freshmen year; that stuff has to begin to translate for all of them into success..it can’t be like you’re starting over each year. Goalscorers: we have players that can score goals and I don’t want to be specific with names because I want them all to have that expectation.
Where do you see your program in terms of competing within your conference? What other season goals do you have?
We will throw it all out there to compete for the top spot in the Pac-12, it won’t be easy, and it never is, but we have to always be working towards being Pac-12 champions otherwise what are we here for? We will take the season in increments and always be working to improve. Our 9 non-conference games need to see us well above .500 going into Pac-12 play and then it’s really game time, top half of the conference with a good non-conference record will get us to the tourney most likely, but we’re going to go all out not to put ourselves in a gray area or on the bubble. Getting back in the NCAA Tournament has to happen and then it’s take them one at a time.
We’re excited for this group to take the field. They have been preparing well and bring new ideas, new leadership and new personality to the table. It’s what keeps the job exciting for me, each year is a new experience.
2012 University of Washington Women’s Schedule