MORNING BRIEFING: Revived Huskies face brutal stretch

After three consecutive losing seasons. Coach Lesle Gallimore has Washington back on the right track. The Huskies are 9-1-0 and hit the charts at No. 23 -- their first ranking in the Soccer America Women's Top 25 since 2004 when they reached the quarterfinals of the NCAA Tournament.

UW faces its biggest test of the season Friday when it heads down the I-5 corridor to Portland to face the Pilots.

With matches at USC and UCLA the weekend of Oct. 10-12 and at home to Stanford and California the weekend after that. Washington begins a stretch when it faces teams ranked No. 4, No. 5, No. 3 and No. 2 in its next four games. Cal is no pushover, either, at No. 18.

Key for UW has been a breakout season for Veronica Perez, who came into this fall with two goals and three assists in her first two seasons combined.

She has  scored seven goals in the first 10 games, more than UW's season-ending leaders in each of the last three seasons. Not only has Perez been scoring often, she's also been scoring when it counts most, providing the game-winning goal in four of UW's nine wins.

Junior Alex Phillips, who came into this season having made one career start, has been outstanding in goal, having allowed just seven goals in nine starts.

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