No. 18 Washington State (13-2-4, 7-1-3) finished the regular season with its third straight win, this time over in-state rival Washington (6-8-4, 4-4-3). The Cougars scored three goals in the second half on their way to a 4-2 road victory that snapped a two game skid at the Husky Soccer Field.
Right out of the half, UW’s attack put pressure on the Washington State defense as Weinert fired off a shot to the wide right side of the net. The Cougars responded with pressure from its attackers, the ball got away from both offenses as it went out of bounds. Which led to WSU’s first corner kick of the second half in the 48th minute.
Washington State kept up the offensive pressure error the first five minutes of the second half. It culminated in an absolute laxer from Gray into the top left corner of the net from about 35-yards out and the right side of the pitch to give No. 18 WSU a 2-1 lead in the 51st minute.
Summer Yates tried her own deep shot for an equalizer, but it was wide right and a little high of the net in the 55th minute for UW. It was part of a three minute stretch where the Huskies put inconsistent pressure on the Cougar defense.
Detrizio got off a shot in the 57th minute, but it hit the right side netting which led to a Washington goal kick. Around 30 seconds later Detrizio was fed a beautiful pass from Bennett while she was wide open; unfortunately her shot was straight at Sekany.
The Cougars took control of the ball for the next ten minutes of the match. And it culminated in Pulver capitalizing on a whiffed save by Sekany — off of a Gray shot — to pinch it into the empty net as No. 18 WSU’s lead increase to 3-1 in the 62nd minute. Washington’s defense was unable to regain control of the ball or clog passing lanes; its poor play throughout the match continued to put pressure on the keeper.
It didn’t take long for Washington State to score it’s fourth goal of the game, and probably the dagger, in the 68th minute when Detrizio put into the back left corner of the net. The Cougars’ attack kept up the pressure and it paid off with two goal against a UW defense that hadn’t been able to contain it all game.
At this point, it was clear Washington’s defense was in clear disarray as Cougar players continually found space. Meanwhile on the other side of the pitch the WSU defense continued to play aggressively. Washington’s best opportunity in a 20 minute stretch came off of a free kick that Nadia Cooper had to core all after a couple of missed headers.
Unfortunately for WSU, Washington scored in the 75th minute when Weinert received a beautiful pass from Yates and booted it into the top left corner of the net over the head of Cooper to cut the Cougar lead down to two.
Cutler had a chance to increase the Cougars lead, but her shot in the 76th minute was right at Sekany. The keeper dropped ontop of the ball to corral it and get it back to her offense. Unfortunately for her, WSU quickly got it back but the shot was blocked and Washington got it back towards the other end of the muddy pitch.
Lynch took a beautiful header from Cutler and fired it off at the left corner of the net but Sekany was able to save it. The ball squirmed out of bounds for a Washington State corner kick which the Cougs wasted time with; the in bound pass was booted back out by UW and Washington State was, again, content to use up some clock in the 84th minute
A Washington shot went out of bounds in the 86th minute and Cooper was content to let the clock burn before she got the ball into play. But the referee stopped the clock when the spotted blood on Mykiaa Minnss’ jersey. The senior was pulled off the pitch by trainers and the clock didn’t start to run again until the ball was kicked back into play. T
Washington’s offense got creative in the last minute, including a shot tot he left of the goal. But it wasn’t enough as the Cougars ended a two-match losing skid in Seattle, Wash. with a 4-2 win.
Yates split a pair of Washington State defenders to put herself in position to score, but her shot was high and went out of play to the right side of the net in the 88th minute. Cooper corralled a header Les than 30 seconds later to get the ball back to the Cougar offensive attack. Unfortunately for WSU, the offense coughed it up and the Huskies got another opportunity to score but the pass was too high for a header to be pulled off.
Washington’s porous defense in the first half finally came back to bite it in the ass as Lynch broke free in the 31st minute and fired off a shot from the right side of the box to the high left corner of the net. There was absolutely nothing Sekany could do as the shot was too high and WSU took a 1-0 lead
Unfortunately the lead didn’t last as Washington took advantage of an error by WSU’s typically stout defense. Cooper tried to fight her way through a scrum right at the net, but the ball slipped in and it was officially called an own goal on Washington State in the 34th minute to tie it up at one. The freshman keeper’s appeal to the official didn’t change the result of the own goal.
While Washington State was able to fire off its eighth shot of the match quickly after the own goal, Washington spent the next four minutes in solid control of the match. It included a questionable no-call on a potential handball that deflected off of a Cougar defender during the 38th minute.
Pac-12 officials got in on the action with a weak yellow card on Lynch in the 42nd minute when she dove at a loose ball and tripped up the UW attacker. Fortunately for WSU, the penalty kick went straight at Cooper and the freshmen collected it easily. The final four minutes of the first half became physical as players tried to get any advantage they could on the muddy pitch.
A late header by Bennett was just a little too low as Sekany was able to easily haul in the shot. As both squads went into halftime it was tied at 1-1.
Lynch brook free on the outside of the box and fired off one hell of a shot in the 28th minute at the corner of the net. But Sekany continued to show off her athleticism with yet another diving save on a hot shot from Washington State. WSU continues to find holes in the Washington defense, but Sekany made play after play to keep the net clean in the first 30 minutes of the match.
Sekany’s fourth save came when Suder got a free kicked that bounced high off the turf. The Washington keeper made a leaping jump to snag the loose ball.
UW’s first corner kick came after the Huskies whiffed on a scoring opportunity in the 18th minute after a collision between an attacker and Cooper. The ball rolled out of bounds with both a Husky and Coug in pursuit of it. Neither was able to corral the ball. The Washington State defense was able to clear the inbounded ball out of the box with relative ease and back into the feet of its attackers.
After the corner kick was cleared out, WSU maintained possession of the ball. It lead to one of the best scoring opportunities for the Cougs when Bennett got it out to a wide open Frimpong-Ellertson, whom got off a clean shot at the goal. Sekany made one hell of a dive to record her second save of the match in the 21st minute.
The Huskies responded with their own shot just under a minute later. Hellstrom’s shot wasn’t near the net and the Cougs got a goal kick that got the ball into the hands of their dangerous offense.
WSU’s first corner kick of the match came in the 10th minute and it went long before the Husky defense deflected it. It kicked off a series of headers in, or around, UW’s box that the Husky defense was able to deflect. Eventually it ended with Sekany’s dropping on top of the ball to get control of the ball so that she could get it back to her offense.
The Huskies tested the Cougar defense in the 13th minute. But the defense was able to boot the ball out to St. Detrizio and she ran nearly the length of the pitch to get a shot off. Unfortunately for WSU, it was booted out of bounds and Washington ended up with the goalie getting to boot the ball in play.
The first opportunity for Washington State came when the offense got the ball into the box and a pass just missed Bennett in the fifth minute. Another opportunity came in the seventh minute when St. Detrizio got past the Husky defense and fired off a shot at the goal, but Sekany dropped ontop of it to put an end to the scoring threat.
Washington really controlled the first three minutes of the match. The Cougar offense was unable to get the ball across midfield; but UW was unable to keep control of the ball once it got inside the box on the muddy pitch.
Post match thoughts
- That was an absolutely dominant second half against an overmatched Washington squad. Despite the fact that WSU gave up two goals, for the first time since the draw against Arizona State, the defense gave the Huskies very few opportunities.
- What an absolutely beautiful goal by Alyssa Gray to give WSU the lead back at the start of the second half.
- Sekany had little help from her defense all night as the Cougars routinely got into position to take well aimed shots at her. She made seven saves on 11 shots on goal. On the other end of the pitch, Cooper only had to make two saves on three shots on goal.
- Man that own goal hurts, and it completely changed the complexation of the first half.
- With three straight wins to close out the season, No. 18 WSU is well positioned heading into selection Monday. It seems likely that the Cougs should get a high enough seed to host a first round match on the Palouse.
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Photo credit: Cole Quinn/The Daily Evergreen