Cougars Begin 2004 Season With Montana Nike Cup

Aug. 23, 2004

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This Week: Washington State will begin its 2004 campaign on the road taking on Denver, Friday and host, Montana, Sunday in the Montana Nike Cup...Friday's kickoff is scheduled for 2 p.m. at South Campus Stadium in Missoula, Mont....Sunday's match will begin at 1 p.m. at the same location...WSU heads to Montana with the momentum of a 1-0 win over Idaho in its exhibition game... freshman Brooke Bemis from Coeur d' Alene, Idaho scored the game-winning goal for WSU just two minutes into the match.

In 2003 head coach Matt Potter coached the Cougars to a 6-11-2 overall and 2-5-2 Pac-10 record in his first year at the helm of the program....WSU faced its toughest non-conference schedule to date last fall taking on five nationally ranked teams, including No. 1 North Carolina and No. 3 Texas A&M...this season WSU will play four nationally ranked teams before starting conference play, including No. 12 Tennessee, No. 24 Utah, No. 14 Brigham Young and No. 7 Portland...the Cougs return 16 letterwinners and four starters from last year's squad...among the returners are co-captains Christie Spear and Katie Hultin...Hultin earned Pacific-10 Conference honorable mention accolades in 2003 finishing 6-7-0 and recording seven shutouts while posting a 0.84 goals-against-average...joining the Cougar squad this fall is assistant coach Kirk Nelson and 12 newcomers ...the recruiting class, which is Potter's first, was ranked 12th in the west, and 47th out of 306 Division I schools by Soccer Buzz Magazine.

Scouting the Pioneers: This weekend the Cougars will take on Denver in their first game of the Montana Nike Cup...the Pioneers return 13 letterwinners and eight starters from a squad that lost in the first round of the 2003 NCAA Tournament...last fall the Pioneers finished 18-4-0 overall and 7-1-0 in Sun Belt Conference play...the Pioneers are coached by Jeff Hooker who is entering his 13th season at Denver with a 150-58-20 career record...among Denver's top returners are sophomore Lleane Grimditch, senior Diana Brunkhardt and sophomore goalkeeper Danielle Wiley...Grimditch led the Pioneers last season with 14 goals and seven assists while starting every game...Brunkhardt tallied 31 points with six goals and four assists...Wiley started 18 of 19 games she played, posting a 14-3-0 record and a 0.73 goals-against-average.

Scouting the Grizzlies: Montana will play Idaho , a team WSU beat 1-0 in its exhibition game, before taking on the Cougars Sunday in the final game of the Montana Nike Cup...the Grizzlies are entering the season under first year head coach Neil Sedgwick...prior to taking the position at Montana, Sedgwick served as the associate head coach at conference foe, University of Southern California...USC made three consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances while Sedgwick was an 2003 the Grizzlies finished 8-11-2 overall and 3-3-0 in Big Sky Conference action...they return 13 letterwinners and 10 starters including 2003 Big Sky Defensive Player of the year Wendy Stuker...Stuker is a senior defender who was a first team All-Big Sky honoree her sophomore and junior seasons...also leading the Grizzlies is senior midfielder Nikki Bolstad...she is a two-time first team All-Big Sky selection.

WSU Recruiting Class Ranked: Head Coach Matt Potter's first recruiting class was ranked nationally by Soccer Buzz Magazine...the incoming class consisting of one sophomore and 11 freshmen is ranked 12th in the western region and 47th out of 306 Division I schools...the incoming class consists of sophomore Sasha Baines of Everett, Wash., and freshmen Molly Alexander of Vancouver, B.C., Brooke and Brynn Bemis of Coeur d' Alene, Idaho, Kim Bonnes of Longview, Wash., Christy Crudo of Tacoma, Wash., Natalie Elkind of Encinitas, Calif., Shaye Harrel of Scottsdale, Ariz., Brie Kuhne of San Diego, Calif., Jessica Martinez of Sammamish, Wash., Anna Miller of Corvallis, Ore., and Allison Scurich of Laguna Niguel, Calif.

Cougars Face a Challenging Non-Conference Schedule: Washington State is taking on a non-conference schedule that includes four teams ranked nationally in the NSCAA preseason polls...the Cougars first test against a nationally-ranked opponent will take place at home Sept. 5 against No. 12 Tennessee...WSU will travel to the Beehive State to play No. 24 Utah Sept. 23 and No. 14 Brigham Young Saturday, Sept. 25...No. 7 Portland will travel to the Palouse Oct. 3 for Cougars final regular season game...two conference opponents enter the season nationally ranked...No. 22 Arizona State will host the Cougars Oct. 10 and No. 3 UCLA will travel to Pullman for a Oct. 15 match.

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