PULLMAN, Wash. - For the third-straight year Washington State (13-6-1) has danced its way into the second round of the NCAA Tournament as the Cougs cruised to a 1-0 win over No. 14 Memphis (17-3-1) Friday night at Lower Soccer Field.
On a fast and wet field, the Cougars proved to be the bigger, stronger, and faster team throughout the night, hammering the Tigers' defensive backline from the opening whistle. Controlling the run of play and working into dangerous areas it was only a matter of time before the Cougs broke through offensively.
That burst would finally come to fruition in the 62' when Averie Collins muscled her way through the midfield before finding her Makamae Gomera-Stevens open in the middle of the pitch. With the ball at her feet and a clear ally towards goal, the Hawaiian sensation took two touches into the 18 and teed it up on her left foot before blasting it just inside the post. The shot beat the Tigers' Elizabeth Moberg's outstretched hands finally cracking the scoreboard.
The Cougs would have a handful of chances to add to their lead but Moberg stymied WSU's advances to keep Memphis in the game. The Tigers' would press forward in the final minutes of the game in search of the equalizer but a staunch WSU defense held tight while Ella Dederick, and a little help from a friendly post, cleaned up the few chances Memphis would get through.
Stat of the Match
The Cougs won their opener at home for the second-straight season and advanced to the second round for the third-straight season. Prior to last year's postseason win, the Cougars had never advanced out of the first round in back-to-back seasons.
Things You Need To Know
- Washington State improved to 13-6-1 while handing the Tigers just their third loss of the year. The win improved the Cougs NCAA record to 5-10-4 overall and their home record to 7-2-1 in 2019.
- WSU improved to 8-4 in one-goal contests on the year.
- Makamae Gomera-Stevens scored her first postseason goal for the Cougs while adding her fourth goal of the season. The goal was her team-best third game-winner on the year.
- Averie Collins picked up her fifth assist on the year, moving into second place in assists and total points (15) on the year.
- Ella Dederick earned her 50th career victory in goal for the Cougars and her 27th career shutout. WIth two saves in the game the super-senior moved to No. 2 all-time in WSU's record books with 290 career saves.
- WSU dominated the stat sheet once again outshooting the Tigers 16-to-4 while earning 11 corners to the Tigers' 1.
- The Cougars will move on to face either No. 1 seed Virginia or Radford, Friday, Nov. 22. The two teams meet Saturday in Charlottesville for a chance to advance. The second round game location and time have yet to be determined.
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