Cougars Battle For Montana Diadora Cup To Open 2002 Campaign

Aug. 26, 2002

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This Week: Washington State begins its 2002 campaign at the Montana Diadora Cup with matches against Minnesota (Friday, 5 p.m.) and host Montana (Sunday, 1 p.m.) in Missoula. WSU returns seven starters and 16 letterwinners from 2001, including its top two scorers, junior Rachel Rodrick (19 points) and senior Katrina Stroh (15 points). The Cougars defeated Eastern Washington 4-0 in exhibition play Aug. 24.

Scouting the Golden Gophers: Minnesota tuned-up for the Montana Diadora Cup with an exhibition against Division II Minnesota State-Mankato, a 4-1 victory for the Golden Gophers. Head Coach Barbara Wickstrand will look to Rachael Roth and Amanda McMahon to spearhead the offense. Roth, a junior, led the Golden Gophers with 16 points in 2001, while McMahon is a transfer from Marshall who was named MAC Newcomer of the Year in 2000. Minnesota was 5-12-0 overall last season, and 3-7-0 in Big 10 play.

Scouting the Grizzlies: Montana came out firing against Rocky Mountain in an Aug. 23 exhibition, firing 35 shots and defeating the Billings, Mont., school 10-0. Tammy Hartung, a sophomore from Seattle, recorded four goals and an assist after coming off the bench in the victory. Montana, who owns a 13-5-2 record against Pac-10 teams since 1996, is coming off an 8-8-0 record in 2001. The Grizzlies look to rebound this season with eight returning starters under Head Coach Betsy Duerksen, who has 145 career victories. The Cougars and Grizzlies are no strangers, having met twice in the 2000 season, including the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

Cougar Coaching Staff: Head Coach Dan Tobias is entering his fifth year at the helm and guided Washington State to the NCAA Tournament in 2000. Tobias has tallied 33 wins in the first four years of his tenure, putting him in second for career victories at WSU. The former Cal Poly standout player and assistant is the third coach in the 14-year history of the Cougar soccer program. Assistant Curtis McAlister is in his fourth year on the Palouse and works primarily on defensive organization and with the goalkeepers. His presence was a huge factor during WSU's run to the postseason in 2000, as the Cougars allowed only 19 goals in 21 matches. Oregon native Lisa Oyen begins her second season on the staff. The four-year letterwinner at the University of Montana coordinates summer camps and brings a wealth of playing experience to the program.

Injury Update: Redshirt freshman Katie Hultin, a goalkeeper from Denver, Colo., suffered a concussion Aug. 24 in the exhibition against Eastern Washington. Hultin is progressing and Head Coach Dan Tobias is optimistic that she will be ready for this weekend's action in Missoula.

Class of 2000: Washington State's freshmaen class of 2000 features eight players that have been significant contributors during their first two seasons at Washington State. Defenders Mariette Boyce and Shay Hobby, forward/midfielders Jessica Allen, Kim Morgan, Jenna Wirtz, and Rachel Rodrick, and goalkeeper Sara Leibowitz are all expected to be integral pieces to squad this season as WSU will be shooting for a second postseason appearance in three years.

Starting Experience: Head Coach Dan Tobias is entering the 2002 season with his most experienced team. The Cougars return 16 starters with a combined 275 career matches started under their belts. There are also still eight players who competed in the 2000 NCAA Tournament. Junior stalwarts Mariette Boyce, Shay Hobby, Kim Morgan, and Rachel Rodrick have combined to start 148 matches and score 52 points.

Senior Midfielder Katrina Stroh In The Record Books: Federal Way, Wash., native Katrina Stroh has established herself as one of the best players ever to wear a Cougar uniform during her first three years in Pullman, and is looking to add to that legacy this season. Stroh's 16 career goals is third on the WSU all-time list, while her 13 assists is fourth. The Decatur High School graduate is also third in career points with 45.

Junior Rachel Rodrick In The Record Books: Just two years into her Washington State career, junior forward Rachel Rodrick is climbing quickly up the school career records list. The Curtis High School graduate is tied for seventh in goals with 12, and eighth in points with 31. Rodrick is also tied for fourth in multiple goal matches with three, and recorded her first career hat trick against Eastern Washington in 2001.

Cougars vs. Top 25 Opponents: Cougars vs. Top 25 Opponents: WSU's swing through Los Angeles in October of 2001 marked the program's 52nd and 53rd matches against top 25 teams. In those matches, WSU has come away with the win 10 times while tying on five occasions. Aside from the victory over No. 2 Washington in the 2000 regular season finale, WSU owns two other victories over top 10 teams. In 1993, under the direction of Lisa Fraser, the Cougars upset No. 6 Stanford in Pullman. In 1994, the Cougs opened what would become an NCAA Tournament season by defeating Connecticut 2-1. Fraser helped WSU achieve their highest ranking in the national polls in 1993, peaking at No. 11 on Sept. 12.

Cougs On The Tube: The Washington State soccer program is no stranger to television coverage. Cougar matches have appeared on television a total of 26 times, 19 on Prime Sports Northwest and seven on Fox Sports Northwest. WSU soccer debuted on the tube Oct. 5, 1990 with a 4-0 win over Seattle Pacific. Possibly the most memorable television appearance came in 1991 as the Cougars took 58 shots on goal en route to a 15-0 blowout of Gonzaga. Dan Tobias went 2-1 in his first season at WSU on television, including a 1-0 overtime win against Washington on Fox Sports Northwest. The most recent appearance on Fox Sports Northwest was Nov. 9 of last season, a 2-2 draw with Oregon State that ended in near darkness in Pullman.

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