Cougars, Sun Devils Headed For First Round NCAA Showdown In Santa Clara

Nov. 11, 2002

PULLMAN, Wash. --- For the second time in three years, Washington State will be in the field of 64 for the 2002 Division I Women's Soccer Championship. The Cougars first round opponent will be Pac-10 foe Arizona State Friday, November 16 in Santa Clara, Calif., at 5 p.m.

'We are happy to be selected to a very good field of 64,' Head Coach Dan Tobias said. 'We are playing an opponent that we are familiar with, so that is an added touch.'

The Cougars and Sun Devils played 10 days ago in Tempe, with WSU coming away with a 1-0 victory. That victory also marked the second win in a streak of four-straight that helped propel Washington State into the postseason.

'We had a chance to play our way in last year, but we didn't finish it off,' Tobias said. 'We played very well toward the end of the season this year and I think that says that we are a program that is in that upper echelon of the Pac-10.'

WSU's four-match, Pac-10 winning streak was the program's longest since it began playing in the 'Conference of Champions' in 1995.

'It was real special. We did an excellent job of not looking ahead and trying to improve each game,' Tobias said 'I'm really proud of that stretch of games. I think that tells other teams in the conference and the region that we are a quality program.'

Tobias also led the Cougars to the NCAA Tournament in 2000, suffering a first round setback to Big Sky Champion Montana. It will be WSU's third trip to the postseason overall. Lisa Gozley guided the program to a tournament victory over Wisconsin in 1994 before being knocked out by Williams & Mary in the second round.

'Last year we were really disappointed,' senior captain Katrina Stroh said. 'We had almost the same team back and we knew we had what it took to make it. It is a great feeling to be back.'

The Cougars and Sun Devils will be paired opposite defending national champion and host Santa Clara, and Creighton. The Santa Clara-Creighton match will be at 7:30 p.m. The winners of the two contests will play Sunday at 1 p.m.

Tickets can be purchased online through Santa Clara University's athletic department homepage,, or by calling 408-554-4660. Information will be updated throughout the week.

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