Cougar Soccer Caps Off Preseason With Win Over Montana

Aug. 25, 2001

COUER d'ALENE, Idaho --- The Washington State soccer team exacted revenge for last year's NCAA Tournament loss to Montana by beating the Grizzlies 2-1 in a preseason scrimmage at Couer d'Alene High School.

Though the game will not count as part of either team's win-loss record, Cougar head coach Dan Tobias got a chance to see his squad in live action before opening the season next Friday.

'It was a pretty good game,' Tobias said. 'Both teams made a lot of changes and we got to see a lot of combinations. It was our first chance to see how our defense shaped up and just a good finish to our preseason. It was great to be able to see all those things in a 100-minute period and get a good result against a very good team.'

Sophomore Rachel Rodrick opened the scoring in the first half with a goal set up by highly-touted freshman Christie Spear. Montana responded with nine minutes left in the second half by scoring a goal and forcing an overtime period.

In overtime, sophomore Jenna Wirtz won the game 10:25 into the extra period with a goal off of freshman Megan Cecchini's miss.

'Megan's shot was a missile,' Tobias said. 'She hit a sizzler that hit the crossbar that Jenna brought down, settled, and hit in the lower right corner for the game winner.'

The Cougars begin their season with high expectations despite losing Deka DeWitt, the program's second all-time leading scorer, and fielding a roster that features nine sophomores and 12 freshmen.

Washington State was picked seventh in the Pac-10 coaches poll, but tabbed as the No. 9 team in the powerful West Region by

WSU will open the season Friday, Aug. 31 in the University of Nevada-Las Vegas Tournament against St. Mary's college. The Cougars are 10-1-1 in season openers since the program's inception in 1989. The Cougars take on tournament host UNLV Sept. 2.

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