Cougars Fall To No. 3 UCLA 2-1

Nov. 10, 2002

PULLMAN, Wash. --- UCLA ended Washington State's school record string of four-straight Pac-10 wins Sunday with a goal from Sarah-Gayle Swanson in the 64th minute to down the Cougars 2-1.

WSU, who rattled off victories over No. 11 California, Arizona State, Arizona, and No. 12 USC after starting the conference season 1-1-2, finished the regular season with an 11-6-2 record. They are the sixth 10-win team in the 14-year history of the program.

No. 3 UCLA got on the board first at the 15:20 mark with a goal from sophomore Lindsay Greco, who recovered a ball that WSU attempted to clear and put it back to make the score 1-0.

'They did a good job keeping possession and we didn't put a lot of pressure on the ball. We did a lot of ball watching, which is out of the ordinary for our team,' WSU Head Coach Dan Tobias said. 'Despite that, they didn't create a lot of chances. We just missed two clears and they got two goals. That's why they are No. 3 in the nation.'

Washington State tied the match early in the second stanza on a goal from Nicole Wilcox, who took a pass from junior Rachel Rodrick and beat Bruin goalkeeper Sarah Lombardo for the score.

'In the second half, we changed formations and got our attack started,' Tobias said. 'The equalizer was a great goal.'

UCLA was able to prevail, using the combination of junior Sarah-Gayle Swanson and freshman Jill Oakes to get the game-winner. Swanson recorded the goal, recovering Oakes' pass from a wild scramble.

The Cougars used junior Sara Leibowitz in goal for the first half, who made two saves before giving way to freshman Katie Hultin. Hultin recorded four saves in 45 minutes of work.

WSU played without the services of junior forward Shelby Brownfield, who has been the team's leading scorer over the last nine matches. Brownfield suffered a minor injury in Friday's contest with USC and was kept out Sunday for precautionary purposes.

'We have a very good corp of attacking players and there was no reason to risk it today,' Tobias said. 'The same goes for Jennie Kunc. She probably could have played.'

Despite the loss, Tobias was excited about the prospects of playing in the NCAA Tournament for the second time in three years.

'We played very well in the Pac-10 this season. We only lost twice and only two other teams did that in the toughest conference in the nation,' the fifth-year head coach said. 'Obviously, we are disappointed with the result today, but I think we are a very good team and a very deserving NCAA team.'

The setback dropped Washington State's season record to 11-6-2, including 5-2-2 in the Pac-10. UCLA advanced to 16-3-0, and 8-1-0 in conference.

The Cougars have to wait for word on their NCAA Tournament fate until Monday at 1:30 p.m. The NCAA Soccer Tournament selection show will be carried live on ESPN2.

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