Sunday Afternoon Soccer on Tap
> The Cougs return home to host Hawai'i Sunday in their second to last home game of the non-conference season. WSU is a perfect 7-0 all-time against the Rainbow Wahine.
> WSU is 1-0-1 at home on the year and are unbeaten in its last nine in Pullman.
> The Cougs cruised to a 3-0 win at San Diego State Thursday night behind goals from Sydney Studer (1) and Grayson Lynch (1, 2).
> 5th year Brianna Alger returned to the pitch for the first time since suffering a season-ending injury in the 2021 spring opener. Alger was a 2019 all-region honoree.
> Sophomore Alyssa Gray and junior Grayson Lynch have scored braces in back-to-back contests, the first time a Coug has scored multiple goals in consecutive contests since the six goal weekend by all-american Morgan Weaver to end 2019.
> 5th year Sydney Pulver moved into a tie for 5th all-time for games played having appeared in 80 total contests. The all-time record sits at 86.
> 5th year Elyse Bennett is on the verge of the Cougs' top-10 in goals scored with 17 career strikes, one away from a tie for 10th with Alix Rustrum (2002-05).
> WSU's offense in three games ranks 1st in shots per game (29.00) and corners per game (11.00).
> The defense has been up to the task in 2021 allowing just one goal and four total shots on goal and are riding a 254:06 minute shutout streak entering the game.
> WSU was picked 5th by the Pac-12 coaches in the preseason poll marking the third-straight year picked in the top half of the conference.
> Under head coach Todd Shulenberger, the Cougs have gone 41-14-8 at home in six-plus seasons including 1-0-1 this season.
COUGS VS RAINBOW WAHINE
The Cougs return home to take on a Hawaii squad who they last faced in 2019 on the road in Honolulu in a game WSU won 1-0. WSU looks to remain perfect against the Rainbow Wahine having posted a perfect 7-0-0 record including 2-0-0 at home. The last time the two teams faced off in Pullman came back in 2012 in a game the Cougs won 2-0. All-time the Cougs hold a 17-2 advantage in goals including a 5-0 mark in the two games in Pullman.
The Rainbow Wahine enter Sunday's game looking for their first win and their first goal having gone 0-2-1 in three contests including falling 5-0 at Gonzaga Thursday night. Eliza Ammendolia leads the way with four shots while Lauren Marquez has posted one shutout in three contests.
LAST TIME OUT
Playing on the road for the first time in 2021 the Cougars (2-0-1) showed no signs of jet lag as Washington State cruised to a 3-0 win over San Diego State (1-4-0) Thursday night at the SDSU Sports Deck. From the opening whistle to the final horn the Cougars were in complete control as the attack threw a steady stream of shots at the goal while WSU defensive unit shutdown the few counter chances the Aztecs attempted to mount when they found themselves in possession of the ball.
The strength of the Cougars entering the 2021 season the defensive unit has not disappointed anchored by the veteran core of senior captain Mykiaa Minniss and junior Bridget Rieken in the middle. The duo have been the heart of the Cougs' defense since joining forces including leading the team to the College Cup in 2019 as underclassmen and have played nearly every minute together for the last three seasons.
On the year the Cougs have allowed just one goal in three contests while posting a pair of shutouts. The Cougs shutout streak sits at 254:06 minutes. Additionally, the Cougs have allowed just six combined shots in the last two matches and have allowed just one shot on goal in the last 180:02 minutes.
OFFENSE FINDING ITS STRIDE
Slowly finding its footing on the new year the Cougs' offense has been on the attack, dominating the offensive third to the tune of a nation's leading 29 shots per game. The constant pressure has begun to bear fruit as the Cougs have scored seven goals in the last two games.
The Cougs have seen six different scorers find the back of the net led by Alyssa Gray and Grayson Lynch each with two goals. Gray and Lynch each notched their first career brace in back-to-back games becoming the first Cougs to have multi-goal games in consecutive contests since all-american Morgan Weaver in 2019 when the superstar notched six goals (2&4 against Utah and Colorado) over senior weekend to end the regular season. They became the first set of Coug teammates since Weaver (2) and Averie Collins (2) achieved the feat to begin the 2019 home campaign when WSU took down Montana and JMU.
In addition to goals the Cougs are forcing the action near the endline earning a nation's best 11.00 corners per contest. WSU set a program record with 20 corners taken against Arkansas State to begin the season.
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