Rieken Named Pac-12 DPOW
SAN FRANCISCO – For the first time in her standout career, junior Bridget Rieken has been named the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week as announced by the conference office Monday afternoon. Rieken is the first Cougar to earn a weekly award in 2021 and the first since Marissa Zucchetto earned Goalkeeper of the Week to close out the spring season last year.
The anchor of the Cougs' backline, Rieken led the Cougs to a perfect weekend on the pitch as WSU earned a pair of shutouts over San Diego State (3-0) and Hawai'i (7-0). The win over the Aztecs was the Cougars' first on the road in 2021 while the win over the Rainbow Wahine kept WSU undefeated on the year at 3-0-1 overall. Completely dominating the field at all levels, Rieken and her defensive mates allowed just six total shots in the two contests with only two finding their way to Zucchetto in goal. Against Hawai'i, the Cougs held the Rainbow Wahine without a single shot for the final 58 minutes of the contest. In total the Cougs enter the week riding a three-match shutout streak that has run its way to 364:06 minutes.
While dominating the defensive end of the field Rieken found time to get into the offensive fun as well as she scored not just one but two goals for the brace against Hawai'i Sunday afternoon. The big centerback made good on a pair of Cougar corners, cleaning up a rebound and a scramble for her first career tallies. The two goals helped to cap off the Cougars' largest win in nearly two decades as WSU notched seven goals in a game for the first time since 2002.
Rieken and the rest of the Cougs are back on the pitch Thursday, Sept. 9 to face off against Seattle U at 7 p.m. at Lower Soccer Field. The home contest closes out WSU's homestand before the team hits the road for three matches to close out non-conference play.