Thanks got out to Erik Oreschak for providing onsite commentary and insights (including some in-game postings) from the action at Portland's Merlo Field (Sunday preview and Friday recap notes follow below):
PREVIEW: Washington at Portland (Nov. 15)
• The Huskies (12-5-4) return to the pitch after defeating Ole Miss Friday night, 1-0 ... sophomore Kate Deines provided thegoal in the match with a long strike into the top shelf, midway through the first half ... from there, Washington allowed its defense to preserve the lead by preventing the Rebels from getting good looks.
• Things could get a little trickier on Sunday, when the nation’s best offense takes the field .. averaging just under four goals per game this season, Portland defeated the Denver Pioneers 4-0 under the lights on Friday ... sophomore Danielle Foxhoven continued her incredible season with 1G-1A while the Pilots showed very little signs of slowing down in their first game without senior midfielder Michelle Enyeart ... junior Sophie Schmidt and freshman Taylor Brooke each added 1G-1At while freshman Kendall Johnson notched her third goal of the season.
• These teams met early in the season with the then-#3 Pilots shutting out the then-#24 Huskies, 2-0 in Seattle ... both goals came off long strikes in the first half from Foxhoven, while all six of the Huskies shots on goal found the gloves of sophomore goalkeeper Hailee DeYoung.
• Sunday’s match is scheduled for a noon kickoff with a weather forecast that anticipates showers all afternoon.
FIRST-ROUND RECAP: Washington 1, Mississippi 0 (Nov. 13)
• Washington (12-5-4) dominated much of the match with their aggressive defense, while sophomore Kate Deines scored the only goal in the 26th minute ... Deines dribbled past a defender and ripped a shot from 18 yards into the upper-right corner.
• Although the rest of the match was a defensive struggle, both teams had opportunities to score ... shortly before halftime, Ole Miss (13-6-2) threatened to knot the score ... after a corner kick, two separate Rebels’ shots were blocked by well-positioned defenders.
• Washington’s offense controlled the ball for much of the game and saw several opportunities to tack on another score ... McKenna Waitley took a failed clearance into the box but senior Mallory Coleman stole the ball and cleared it (49') ... moments later, junior Kendyl Pele sent a thru-ball to sophomore Alex Webber for a head-to-head matchup with the 'keeper Alley Ronaldi (who challenged the attack and smothered the ball before Webber could shoot).
• The Huskies outshot the Rebels 11-5 and held the advantage in corners, 4-2 .. Washington split a pair of matches earlier this season at Portland's Merlo Field, during the Nike Invitational in September.
FIRST-ROUND RECAP: Portland 4 1, Denver 0 (Nov. 13)
• The Pilots peppered the Denver defense with 17 shots, with other goals coming from senior (redshirt junior) Sophie Schmidt and freshman Kendall Johnson.
• The Pioneers (17-6-1) had a few good looks, as both of their shots in the game were on goal and required Portland keeper Kelsey Davis to make athletic saves ... in the 15th minute, freshman Kaitlin Bast ripped a shot aimed to the top-right corner, forcing Davis to completely outstretch her arms for the stop ... in the second half, Bast set up senior striker Kelli Breidenbach with a cross that eluded two defenders (Breidenbach reached back and sent a missile at a surprised Davis, knocking her to the ground).
• The Pilots outshot the Pioneers 17-2 while also carrying a 9-5 advantage in corners ... things got a little messy in the second half, as Denver committed four second-half fouls and Portland five ... DU head coach Jeff Hooker received a yellow card (71') while his assistant Kris Peat received a red card in the 83rd minute ... in the 86th minute, the referee also presented Portland junior Sara Jackman with a yellow after an aggressive attack.