Washington Women Rule

1991 – Around the World and Close to Home

A United Nations coalition force repels Iraq from its invasion of Kuwait six months earlier, the USSR begins dismantling after several former Soviet republics independence, Queen’s Freddie Mercury succumbs to AIDS, and the Internet is made available for unrestricted commercial use, with over 1 million computers signing-on. In Washington, Nirvana’s Nevermind effectively starts the Grunge era with an album release party at Seattle’s Rebar, Seattle Art Museum opens its downtown location, Winslow changes its name to Bainbridge Island, and the Washington Huskies go 11-0 during the regular season en route to a shared national championship.

Washington Women Rule

Integral to the formative phase of the U.S. National Team program, Washington’s women are, if anything, more prominent when the first phase culminates in a world championship. Four young women from Puget Sound wore the national colors that November night in Canton, China, and then celebrated that victory into the wee hours.

It was a struggle that only a close circle could possibly appreciate. The players were compensated by a mere pittance while sacrificing their day job careers. Only pockets of U.S. media share news of that first FIFA Women’s World Cup, and the team returns home to precious little fanfare.

But three weeks later, a local homecoming is held for Michelle Akers, Amy Allmann, Lori Henry and Shannon Higgins – and hundreds of adoring fans squeezed in shoulder to shoulder. For all intents and purposes, it’s the retirement party for the latter three. Akers, whose two goals in the final and 10 altogether lift her into some limelight, will play another nine years.

It is the beginning, and often those whose sweat and toil take place in breaking new ground are not around to bathe in the applause when the capstone is applied.

Each of Washington’s World Cup Four had been forced to go elsewhere in the Eighties to play for college scholarships. By 1991, that changes. Both the University of Washington and Gonzaga begin play, joining Washington State among Division I. It takes the Huskies only a couple weeks to find their way into the national rankings. Statewide, there are now a total of 11 varsity collegiate programs. Those who elect to stay home once more prove quite formidable.

Pacific Lutheran continues to be one of the most powerful programs in the state, at any level, and once again rules NAIA. The Lutes of Colleen Hacker win their third national title in four seasons while playing in four straight finals (they also tied both Washington and Portland).

Season Record
25-27, 3rd MISL Western Division, 1st Round
Keith Weller (2nd year)
Top Scorer
Gary Heale (35 goals)
Women's Collegiate Champions
Pacific Lutheran, NAIA
Men's Collegiate Postseason
Seattle Pacific, D2 quarterfinals
Women's Collegiate Postseason
Pacific Lutheran, NAIA champion
Men's Conference Champions
Pacific Lutheran (NCIC), Seattle Pacific (NCSC)
Women's Conference Champions
Pacific Lutheran (NCIC)
NCSC Men's Champion
Seattle Pacific
NWAC Men's Champion
Skagit Valley d Spokane, 1-0
Pam Copple
Member Associations
79,022 (b: 56,529 g: 22,493)
Largest Attendance
7,342, Tacoma Dome, Tacoma Stars v St. Louis (3/16)

1991: Washington Women Rule

A U.S. National Team featuring four Puget Sound natives wins the inaugural FIFA Women’s World Cup in China. Michelle Akers scores 10 goals, including a brace in the final.

Huskies Win Women's Debut
September 9, 1991

Washington wins its women’s varsity debut at San Diego State, 2-0, as freshman Rhonda Klein of Puyallup scores in the 65th minute and Amy Hamamoto adds insurance goal

Hispanic Leagues Growing Fast
August 4, 1991

Leagues are becoming increasingly popular in eastern Washington, from Tri-Cities to Wenatchee. Migrant farm workers from Mexico and Central America flock to teams. Combined, the Yakima and Lower Valley leagues have about 30 teams and 600 players since starting in mid-Eighties.

Falcons Notch 8th Straight Shutout
October 27, 1991

Top-ranked Seattle Pacific, getting early goals from Jason Dunn and Jason Farrell, wins its eighth straight – all by Marcus Hahnemann shutout – over Whitworth, 4-0, at Newport High School in Bellevue.

Storm's Sage Named U.S. Soccer Consultant
April 10, 1991

FC Seattle president Bill Sage is announced as a consultant to the U.S. Soccer Federation. Sage, who will be unpaid, will work on a five-year business plan for the new U.S. league due to begin play following the 1994 World Cup.

Key Date
Seattle University coach Peter Fewing after a 1-0 exhibition result vs. Washington

The irony is that game (against UW) counts for nothing, not in the league, not in the NAIA. But it means everything to our players, that they can play with big teams. They're shaking the image of the past.

PLU Women Win 3rd NAIA Title
November 29, 1991

Goals by Shari Rider and Wendy Johnson lead third-seeded Pacific Lutheran to its third NAIA national women's soccer championship in the past four years. The Lutes defeat Missouri Valley College, 4-0, in a cold, driving rain at Patch Reef Park, Boca Raton. The game is delayed for 25 minutes during the first half because of lightning, and when the game is finished, there is 4 inches of water on the field. Goalkeeper Brenda Lichtenwalter makes two saves as PLU becomes the first champion to not allow a goal during the tournament. Kirsten Brown opens the scoring in the 32nd minute, and Cheryl Kragness connects on a late penalty. Rider is named tournament MVP after scoring her career record 45th goal and Johnson graduates with a record 52 assists. The Lutes had upset host Lynn, 2-0, in the semifinals.

Stars' Beating Begets Beating
March 30, 1991

Forty-eight hours after being blasted, 11-2, in San Diego, the Tacoma Stars respond by beating the Sockers, 10-2, behind Bill Crook’s first career hat trick. The win clinches the West's third and final playoff berth.

Federal Way, Kennedy Win State
November 23, 1991

Defending 2A girls champ Kennedy beats previously perfect (20-0-0) Seattle Prep, 4-0, in the championship game. Behind Sheralyn Stackhouse (2) and Justi Baumgardt goals, Federal Way halts high-scoring Mercer Island, 5-1, for the 3A crown at Shoreline Stadium. Bellevue Christian wins the boys A-B title, 3-2 in overtime, over Charles Wright.

Seattle Pacific Win Streak Reaches 9
October 30, 1991

Two goals from Jason Farrell spark 6-0 SPU win over Seattle University at Shoreline Stadium, the Falcons’ longest single-season win streak at nine games.

Wazzu Rallies to Beat Western
November 2, 1991

Freshman Brittni Estep strikes twice in the first period of overtime to seal a 4-2 comeback, season-ending win for Washington State over Western Washington in Richland. Kim Lynass's 25th goal of the season equalizes for the Cougars with seven minutes left in regulation. Amanda Coulter and Stephanie Arnesto twice put the Vikings on top.

Lynass Brace, McDowell 20 Saves Help WSU Edge PLU
October 20, 1991

Washington State's Kim Lynass scores a pair of goals as the Cougars defeat NAIA third-ranked Pacific Lutheran, 2-1, in Tacoma. It’s the sixth WSU win in seven matches. Kim Alexander scores for the Lutes, who force Natalie McDowell to make a record 20 saves.

USWNT Wins World Cup on Akers Brace
November 30, 1991

Michelle Akers, 25 and 1984 Shorecrest graduate, scores both goals in 2-1 victory over Norway in first FIFA Women’s World Cup final before 59,000 in Canton. Akers intercepts a backpass for the winner into an empty net. She finishes with 10 goals in six games to lead the tournament. Shannon Higgins of Kent assists on the first U.S. goal. Winners will split $50,000.

UW Women Fast Track to Top 20
September 19, 1991

Two weeks into their inaugural season, the Washington Huskies receive a No. 20 national ranking after drawing, 1-1, at No. 16 Portland.

Hat Trick Has Few Witnesses
April 11, 1991

Gary Heale scores three goals as the Tacoma Stars square their first-round MISL playoff series with a 4-3 overtime home win before only 2,760. The Storm, featuring former Tacoma standout Preki and Brian Schmetzer, win the series decider, 9-2, two days later in St. Louis.

FC Seattle Opts Out of APSL Season
January 17, 1991

FC Seattle Storm joins a growing list of teams opting out of playing the 1991 APSL season. More than half of the 11 teams that made up the APSL's Western Soccer League Conference last year are expected to join Seattle on the sidelines. Portland, San Diego, New Mexico, California and Los Angeles are already out, and Santa Barbara is is doubtful. It leaves any survivors in a smaller league with increased travel costs. Coaching director Clive Charles and coach Stuart Lee remain on the payroll and will head up the Storm's summer camp and academy. Eight players are under contract, including APSL scoring champ Chance Fry.

Henderson Goes Pro
August 8, 1991

Chris Henderson announces he will sign with the USMNT and forego his final two years at UCLA. Henderson has started the last 16 games for the U.S. He was the fourth-youngest player on the 1990 World Cup team.

U.S. Opens World Cup Play
November 17, 1991

USWNT opens play at first FIFA Women's World Cup in Panyu, China, defeating Sweden, 3-2. Washington natives Shannon Higgins and Michelle Akers are in the starting XI, and Higgins clears a Swede shot off the line. Thrilling experience, she says, "My heart was about to leap out of my body."

UW Men Shock UCLA
September 15, 1991

Eric Penner scores in the 111th minute as Washington shocks top-ranked and defending NCAA champ UCLA, 2-1, in the Husky Classic title game at Interlake High School. Shannon Murray scores equalizer before 1,165.

SPU Edges UW for NCSC Crown
November 6, 1991

Seattle Pacific beats Washington, 3-2, to decide NCSC title behind Jason Farrell’s goal and two assists. Huskies Chris Sarver’s brace does snap Marcus Hahnemann’s record 10-game shutout streak (989 minutes).

Falcons Go Out of NCAA on PKs
November 23, 1991

Third-ranked Seattle Pacific draws 3-3 with Cal Poly SLO but falls 3-1 on penalties in NCAA quarterfinal that is later overturned as forfeit.

Huskies Win 10th Game of First Season
November 2, 1991

Behind Kathleen Juergens’s brace, Washington finishes its first varsity women’s season seven-game unbeaten run and 10-6-2 overall by beating Simon Fraser, 4-0, at Everett High School.

Hundreds Greet WA's World Cup 4
December 24, 1991

Michelle Akers, Amy Allmann, Lori Henry and Shannon Higgins return to Seattle and a reception with hundreds of local fans, including Governor Booth Gardner, at Mercer Island Community Center. Allmann, Henry and Higgins all announce they are retiring. They and Akers, regarded as the best female player in the world, earned only $1,000 per month from U.S. Soccer.

Washington U23s Wins Donnelly Cup
July 28, 1991

Tom Fuegmann of Seattle University scores a pair of goals and Jason Dunn, a transfer from Washington to SPU, gets the third as the Washington state U23 team wins the George F. Donnelly Cup, 3-2, over host New Jersey in Newark. Fuegmann, Jason Farrell and James Dunn all receive invitations to the Olympic Sports Festival. Washington was unbeaten (12-0-2) during its run through regionals and nationals.

Aviation West Boys Fly High
February 10, 1991

Aviation West of Highline SA soars to a fourth state cup in five years by going out winners of the boys U19 tournament. Three members of the team – Ben Erickson, Joey Mancuso and Rob Lebelle – are chosen for the U20 National Team.

Dunn, SPU Upsets Portland
October 5, 1991

Jason Dunn’s goal in the 68th minute gives D2 Seattle Pacific the 1-0 upset defeat of Portland, ranked 20th in D1. It’s Cliff McCrath’s 300th win with the Falcons.

Mt. Rainier, Mountain View Prevail
May 25, 1991

Mount Rainier claims its fourth 2A state boys championship via penalties (0-0, 5-4) at Sparks Stadium in Puyallup. Mountain View defeats Cascade, 1-0, on Jeremy Britton’s early second-half strike. The Bruins were playing in their fifth consecutive 3A state final.

Akers Erupts for Record 5 Goals
November 24, 1991

Michelle Akers scores a record five goals in the first 47 minutes and the U.S. routs Chinese Taipei, 7-0, in the quarterfinals in Foshan. Akers’ masterpiece features two rebounds, a free kick, a penalty and a header.

Henderson Goes Distance in Gold Cup
July 7, 1991

Chris Henderson plays the full 120 as USMNT wins first major tournament, the inaugural Gold Cup in Los Angeles, beating Honduras (0-0, 4-3). The Everett native starts all five Gold Cup matches.

Lynass-Fueled Cougs Rout Zags
October 30, 1991

Kim Lynass scores four times while playing just over 45 minutes and Washington State routs Gonzaga, 15-0, at Martin Stadium. Only four goals separated the teams earlier in the season. The win snaps a three-game losing skein for the Cougars, all in southern California.

First Apple Cup Goes to WSU
September 20, 1991

The first-ever meeting between varsity women's teams from Washington and Washington State is won convincingly by the Cougars, 3-0 in the first round of the WSU Invitational at Martin Stadium in Pullman. Freshman Jenni Druffel puts the hosts ahead in the fifth minute and they cruise from there, later getting goals from Kim Lynass and Brittni Estep. It's the third year of varsity play in Pullman while the Huskies are playing just the fifth match of their inaugural season.

Falling Stars Close-Out Year
December 29, 1991

After losing their fourth straight, 7-6 in overtime at Dallas, the Tacoma Stars head into 1992 with a 5-10 record, with five of those losses by one goal, three in overtime.

It is one of the best sites we have seen. I think it would fit well into our program.
FIFA's Guido Tognoni after inspecting Husky Stadium as a potential 1994 World Cup site
I used to go to Sounder games and thought Dave Gillett was the most handsome guy in the world. I've got a picture of just his butt in my scrapbook.
Michelle Akers on her soccer idol as a Seattle area youth
They were complaining that we had some of the best female soccer talent in the country, and the UW didn't have a (varsity) soccer team.
Ken Hutchinson, state representative and proponent of providing women athletes more opportunities to play varsity sports
After we won the World Cup, I didn't expect America to realize what we had done. The people who were closest to me, the ones who knew how hard I'd worked and how much I'd sacrificed, were the ones who were really disappointed. All I was hoping for was a bigger glimmer in the eyes of Americans when they looked at soccer.
Michelle Akers at a Mercer Island reception for the four Washington players on the USWNT squad
We have the support of the university, but the details are significant and still must be worked out. It's a bit of a burnout from the Goodwill Games, but this is 1994 we are talking about, not 1992.
Gov. Booth Gardner, optimistic that Seattle will be a World Cup site despite lagging support from the community and University of Washington
Our potential is unlimited. We can easily be national champions - not this year, but it's a very realistic goal in the future.
Washington’s Jeannine Jensen, a transfer from PLU and member of the Huskies’ first-year varsity
I think 10 years from now we will look back on a win here and see it as a beginning,
Michelle Akers after only a handful of people greet team upon its arrival home from a victorious World Cup in China.
What's most impressive is the variety of ways she can beat a defender. She's so physical she just overpowers a smaller defender. If they put a bigger player on her she has the quickness to just blow past her.
USWNT coach Anson Dorrance on Michelle Akers
We had some real momentum going. Our program and our fan base (3,500) had been growing year to year. I feel badly about missing a year, but I think in the long run what we're doing is the best thing.
Bud Greer, FC Seattle owner, after deciding to go dormant for 1991
Collegiate Men's Records
Central Washington 10-6-1
Evergreen 7-11-1
Gonzaga 5-10-1
Pacific Lutheran 11-7-2
Puget Sound 7-8-2
Seattle University 13-6-1
Seattle Pacific 17-2-1
Washington 8-8-1
Western Washington 8-7-2
Whitman 2-12-0
Whitworth 8-9-0
Collegiate Women's Records
Central Washington 1-8-1
Evergreen 5-10-1
Gonzaga 1-11-0
Pacific Lutheran 18-2-4
Puget Sound 4-7-0
Seattle University 12-8-0
Seattle Pacific (club) 0-8-0
Washington 10-6-2
Washington State 12-7-1
Western Washington 10-7-3
Whitman 5-6-2
Whitworth 10-6-0
State Youth Recreational Cup Winners
Age BoysGirls
U11 Lions (FWSA)FC Royals (TPCJSA)
U12 Totem Cobras (FWSA)Wildcats (GRJSA)
U13 Adventurers (TPCJSA)FC Rangers (WCYSA)
U14 West Seattle Lazers (HSA)Islanders (WIYSA)
U15 Islanders (WIYSA)Bad Girls (TCYSA)
U16 FC Auburn (AYSA)Dynamo Tacoma (TPCJSA)
U17 LC Roadrunners (SYSA)AVC Nitros (SSCJSA)
U19 Spitfires (SYSA)Turbos (TCYSA)
Washington State Youth Champions
Age BoysGirls
U12 Jalisco (HAS)Aviation West (HAS)
U13 Nitros (FWSA)FC Royals 78 (TPCJSA)
U14 Heat 77 (HAS)Star Shooters (FWSA)
U15 Team SIR (FWSA)Green River 76 (KYSA)
U16 EC Force (SYSA)FC Royals 75 (TPCJSA)
U17 NC Alliance (NCYSA)Team Score (SYSA)
U19 Aviation West (HAS)FC Royals 72 (TPCJSA)
WIAA Championship Games
Boys 4A Mountain View 1Cascade 0
Boys 3A Mount Rainier 0 (5-3)Lindbergh 0
Boys 1A Bellevue Christian 3Charles Wright 2 OT
Girls 4A Federal Way 5Mercer Island 1
Girls 3A Kennedy 4Seattle Prep 0
Girls 1A Forest Ridge 3Seattle Christian 0
NAIA National Championship - Pacific Lutheran vs MVC

VIDEO: NAIA National Championship - Pacific Lutheran vs MVC

On this Day in History
November 2, 2016
Brian Schmetzer is named head coach on a permanent basis after guiding the team to an 8-2-4 record down the stretch to clinch a playoff berth and reaching the Western Conference semifinals. Schmetzer had coached the USL Sounders from 2002-08 and served as Sigi Schmid's top assistant since 2009. Initially, he was named interim successor to Schmid.
More from 2016 ›
June 24, 2019
Snohomish United 05 Black gets a first-half goal from Maki Quiyono and holds on to beat Utah's Forza FC 05, 1-0, to earn the U14 Girls Far West Regional Championships title at Boise. Quiyono scores in the 31st minute. Snohomish scores 19 during the tournament while allowing just two, both in the first group game. They are joined at the USYSA nationals by Seattle United 03 Copa boys U16 and Washington Premier 02 Black boys U17. Both qualified via the National League.
More from 2019 ›
July 7, 2005
A less experienced side featuring Bellevue's Marcus Hahnemann in his first appearance for the USMNT in nine years, beats Cuba, 4-1, in its Gold Cup opener before 15,831 at Qwest Field. Cuba went ahead in the 18th minute. Clint Dempsey scores shortly before halftime. Landon Donovan comes on as a substitute to put the U.S. in front on an 87th-minute free kick. Costa Rica defeats Canada, 1-0, in the other half of the doubleheader.
More from 2005 ›
May 15, 2009
Kitsap Pumas draw, 1-1, with Tacoma Tide in first home game, played before 1,572 at Bremerton’s Memorial Stadium, which featured a new video scoreboard.
More from 2009 ›