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Cougs ready for their closeup

Apr 1, 2021

#21 WASHINGTON STATE (5-1-1, 1-0-1)
at #5 UCLA (8-1-1, 5-1-0) Fri., April 2 | 6 p.m. | Wallis Annenberg Stadium
  Watch Live | Pac-12 Network (Jack Cronin)
  Live Statistics |

> Washington State put itself back in the mix with a win at Colorado last week jumping to 4th in the standings in PPG. While its only 2 games, the Cougs have yet to give up a goal in Pac-12 play posting a pair of shutouts in a pair of OT endeavors. 
> WSU heads to LA for a pair of big matchups beginning with a tilt against #5 and top of the standings UCLA. The Cougs fell a season ago at LA, 2-1, snapping a two-game win streak against the Bruins. UCLA fell from the ranks of the unbeaten last week with a 2-1 loss to ASU.
> WSU is looking for just its third win at LA but second in three seasons having been sent on the road to face UCLA three-straight years. 
> Senior Makamae Gomera-Stevens, the 27th pick in the 2021 NWSL Draft, has been the catalyst in the middle of the Cougs offense. The Hawaiian native has scored a goal in each of the last two games (back-to-back goals for the first time in her career).
> The offense has been clicking having scored 13 goals with six difference scorers including a pair of first time scorers.
> Senior Elyse Bennett leads the team in scoring with 5 goals, tied for second in the Pac-12 despite only having played seven games on the year.
> Senior Marissa Zucchetto is tied for the No. 1 in the Pac-12 with just 4 goals against and has produced four shutouts including two in two Pac-12 games.
> The Cougs enter week at #21 in the poll. WSU is the fourth highest ranked team in the Pac-12 (six ranked overall)
> WSU's freshmen have made an immediate impact notching three goals (Gray, Detrizio (2)) and five assists (Detrizio (2), Whieldon (2), McGill) in five games.
> The senior class continues to cement its legacy as the most decorated class in program history having won 44 games (record is 50 wins) and advancing to at least the second round in each of their three seasons, a program first.
> Senior Sydney Pulver nearing top-10 games played at WSU as she has played in 71 games with the top-10 starting at 76, a mark she will hit by the end of the regular season.

The Cougs head to LA to take on #5 UCLA Friday night at Wallis Annenberg Stadium with a chance to position themselves in the title hunt with a win over the Bruins. The two teams have played tight, one-goal, contests in each of the last four years with the two teams splitting four evenly despite three of the four being played at LA. The game Friday will mark the third-straight season the Cougs have been sent to UCLA to take on the Bruins, who won last season 2-1 after back-to-back 1-0 wins by WSU in the all-time series.
The Bruins enter the weekend with the Pac-12's most potent offense at 2.1 gpg while the Cougs check in just behind in 3rd at 1.86 gpg. UCLA suffered its first loss of the season last week, falling to ASU.

Rounding back into the form that made her the 27th pick in the NWSL draft, senior Makamae Gomera-Stevens has been the catalyst in the middle of a potent Coug attack. The native Hawaiian has notched three goals on the year, second behind team-leader Elyse Bennett, while scoring a pair of game-winners. For the first time in her career, Gomera-Stevens has scored in back-to-back games notching unassisted goals at Washington and at Colorado, the later of which was a golden goal. 
She ranks tied for 4th all-time in WSU's record books with 8 career game-winners, including two golden goals. She is also on the verge of the top-10 for games played having played 70 contests with the list starting at 76.
Last season, Gomera-Stevens broke out with five goals, four of which were game-winners. She became just the second player from Hawaii to earn a senior call-up to the USWNT camp following Natasha Kai. She would be selected as the #27 overall pick in the 2021 NWSL Draft by the Houston Dash.

While the offense has been clicking the Cougs defense has quietly put together a solid start to the year having allowed just four goals in seven games including four clean sheets (two of which have come in Pac-12 play).
Senior Marissa Zucchetto saw her shutout streak end at 383:02 minutes against Washington, the longest streak since 2014 (427 min.). She has 23.5 career shutouts (19.5 in three seasons at Texas Tech).

~ Complete Release ~ (PDF)

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