Cougars Cruise Into The NCAA Second Round
PULLMAN, Wash. — For the second-straight season the Washington State soccer team (13-5-1) are moving on in the NCAA Tournament as the Cougars dominated Montana (7-9-6), 5-1, in the opening round of play Friday night at Lower Soccer Field. From the opening whistle to the final horn, the Cougars were in complete control of the game, peppering the Griz defense with shots until finally breaking through in the 36′ on a tap in goal by sophomore Brianna Alger . Alger was the beneficiary of a stellar individual effort from freshman Hailey Smith who beat her defender down the baseline and crossed a ball to Alger who then nutmegged her defender for the goal. With the one goal in hand, the Cougars poured it on in the second half, scoring what would be the game-winner in the 49′ on a blast from star forward Morgan Weaver . Weaver had been knocking on the door throughout the early goings before lacing a strike into the back of the net for her 13th goal of the season. 12 minutes later, Alysha Overland got in on the scoring, tapping home a loose ball in front of the net that came in off a cross from Maddy Haro and was settled by Smith. With a pair of assists under her belt, Smith decided to tally a goal of her own just three minutes later. On a ball sent in to the middle of the box from Elaily Hernandez-Repreza , Smith volleyed top-shelf for her second goal of the season. With the entire lineup getting into the action, freshman Gracie Armstrong put the finishing touches on the victory with her first collegiate goal, driving a laser shot just under the crossbar to put the Cougs up five.
Quote of the Match
Head Coach Todd Shulenberger – “Credit to the girls, but credit to this conference as well. They’re (Montana) a great team, don’t get me wrong. They did a great job this season with what they did. But the Pac-12 is a different beast. Our level of play each game is increased, the pace of the game, the players we’re playing against. To score eight goals on them this year, that was an awesome feat for us.”
Things You Need To Know
The Cougs’ picked up their 13th win of the season and snapped a three-match losing streak at home in NCAA opening round games.
WSU picked up its second win over Montana on the year, outscoring the Griz 8-2 in two games. The Cougs moved their unbeaten streak to 10 games against Montana.
WSU’s five goals were the most scored on the year for the Cougars and the four-goal victory was the biggest win on the season.
Morgan Weaver scored for the fourth-straight contest, tying her career best streak. She has 13 goals on the year, six in the last four games, and 28 career finishes. She is third all-time at WSU with 11 career game-winners.
Maddy Haro picked up her 14th and 15th assists of the season to extend her single-season record. Her 15 assists are tied for fifth in Pac-12 single-season history. Additionally, Haro now has 22 career assists, one shy of tying the WSU’s all-time record of 23 set by Beth Childs (1998-2001).
In the game Hailey Smith picked up her first and second career assists while Elaily Hernandez-Repreza tallied her first career assists. Gracie Armstrong scored her first collegiate goal. The goals for Brianna Alger and Alysha Overland were each their third of the season. Shayna Whieldon picked up her second assist of the season on the Weaver goal.
WSU moves on to face No. 1 Georgetown or Central Connecticut State in the second round. Their game is scheduled for Saturday afternoon.