College Soccer / Picture Perfect

Picture Perfect: Husky Women top USC

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SEATTLE, WA – The Washington Women swept their Pac-12 matches at home over the weekend with one-goal wins over UCLA and USC. Photographer Michael Landon submitted his first set of photos from Sunday’s UW-USC match. See his gallery at Facebook.com/goalWA.

GoHuskies.com Match RecapKimberly Keever drew her third penalty kick this season and Shannon Simon buried it for her team-leading sixth goal of the year to give the Huskies a 1-0 victory over USC Sunday night at Husky Soccer Field, completing UW’s home weekend sweep.

“USC is a good team. They’ve played a really tough schedule and they’ve been getting better with each game,” UW head coach Lesle Gallimore said. “It was a little bit of a chess match in the first half and we didn’t feel great about how the game was going. We came out much better in the second half – we created a lot and we moved the ball around, and it paid off with a great chance that we took advantage of.”

With the game at a scoreless tie in the 57th minute, Keever attacked the Trojans’ back line and was taken down from behind just inside the box, giving the Huskies a penalty kick. Simon stepped up and placed it perfectly in the corner and just out of the diving reach of USC goalkeeper Sammy Prudhomme to give the Dawgs a 1-0 lead.

“We were finally stringing a few passes together and I saw a little crease,” Keever said. “The coaches have been encouraging me to attack those spaces and I was fortunate to draw a foul. Good things happen when you listen to your coaches.”

Simon’s conversion of a penalty kick earned by Keever marked the third time the duo has combined to create and finish a penalty, as Keever drew penalties against both Cal State Northridge and Portland and Simon finished both.

UW finished with 13 total shots, 10 coming in a very active second half. Sophomore midfielder Shaye Villanueva appeared to have given the Huskies the lead in the first half, when her free kick was tipped against the cross bar before it landed inside the goal before bouncing out. She was not credited with the goal and the teams went into halftime scoreless.

The Huskies finished with six corner kicks to one for USC, and forced Prudhomme into five saves. UW senior goalkeeper Megan Kufeld made four saves on ten shots from the Trojans, as the Husky defense recorded its fourth shutout of the season.

“The defensive effort was there from the whole team,” senior center back McKenzie Karas said. “We talked a lot about having each other’s backs and playing with the mentality of pressure, cover, balance. There was always someone behind us ready to help, and that was really big against a team as fast and dangerous as USC was tonight.”

The Huskies swept USC and UCLA for just the second time in in program history, the first coming in 2000 when the Huskies won the then Pac-10 title.

https://scontent.fsjc1-3.fna.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xpt1/v/t1.0-9/12144793_986268634768916_7372188327004916173_n.jpg?oh=7c82d97c930bf68d6835ac5bb8460682&oe=56D0D454https://scontent.fsjc1-3.fna.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xat1/v/t1.0-9/12108995_986269128102200_7616759648402956082_n.jpg?oh=b6a41c4531feec72ca8155b13ad7e738&oe=56D16C12“It’s a two-win weekend against the California schools, and we haven’t done that many times,” Gallimore said. “I’ll take it. Shaye Villanueva was really good for us tonight. She’s a bit of an unsung hero, but their midfield is really good. They’re tough to track and athletic, and Shaye was a big difference maker for us.”

Sunday’s win over USC extends the Huskies’ perfect start at home, as UW now holds a 6-0-0 record in 2015 at Husky Soccer field.

“This is our home and we want to have a legacy here,” Keever said. “We want to feel comfortable here and take care of business on our own field. That’s been a big point of emphasis for us.”

Next up for the Huskies is a road trip to play at Colorado on Friday, Oct. 9, followed by a match at Utah on Oct. 11. Both games will be shown on the Pac-12 Networks. In-game updates will also be provided on Twitter at @UW_WSoccer.

For more on UW women’s soccer, follow the Huskies on Facebook and on Snapchat, Periscope, Twitter and Instagram at @UW_WSoccer.

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