Scott M. Johnson Herald Writer
SEATTLE — The last time the University of Washington women’s soccer team was invited to the NCAA tournament, the Huskies crashed the party. That was two years ago, when UW made an unprecedented run to the Elite Eight before Boston College ended the magical run two games short of the national title game.
This year’s Huskies (10-7-3) are just as big an underdog after finishing seventh in the Pacific-12 Conference, but they’re getting a shot nonetheless.
Unranked UW found out Monday afternoon that it will host Auburn (12-10-1) in the first round of the 64-team tournament at 7 p.m. Friday. The game will be played at the UW soccer complex.
“Our team has worked really hard and they deserve this,” head coach Lesle Gallimore said in a press release. “The Pac-12 is one of the toughest conferences in the country and if you can manage to just get in that top half, you certainly give yourself a chance to get to the tournament.”
A win Friday night would set up a potential second-round matchup with BYU, a team the Huskies beat 3-1 in September.
The Huskies are led by Lindsay Elston, a junior from Sammamish who scored 10 of the team’s 28 goals during the regular season. Local products Hillary Zevenbergen (King’s High School), Annie Sittauer (Everett) and Lindsey Bos (Archbishop Murphy) have also been key contributors this season.
The UW men’s team also appears headed to the postseason in coach Jamie Clark’s second season at the helm. The men’s pairings don’t come out until next week.