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Keep it going, Cougs to face Seattle U

Sep 8, 2021

vs Seattle U Thr., Sept. 9 | 7 p.m. | Lower Soccer Field
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> The Cougs take on Seattle U Thursday in their final home match of the non-conference season. WSU has won 5-straight against the Redhawks and are 15-1-0 in the all-time series.
> WSU is 2-0-1 at home on the year and are unbeaten in its last 10 in Pullman.
> Junior Bridget Rieken enters the game the reigning Pac-12 Defensive POW after leading the Cougs to a pair of shutouts while scoring two goals against Hawai'i.
> The Cougs are coming off their largest win in nearly two decades after demolishing Hawai'i 7-0.
> The defense has been up to the task in 2021 allowing just one goal and are riding a 364:06 minute shutout streak entering the game. Last season the Cougs put together a 383:02 minute streak, the longest since 2014.
> Alyssa Gray, Grayson Lynch, and Elyse Bennett/Bridget Rieken have scored braces in three-straight contests, the first time a Coug has scored multiple goals in three-straight since 2000.
> 5th year Sydney Pulver moved into a tie for 4th all-time for games played having appeared in 81 total contests. The all-time record sits at 86.
> 5th year Elyse Bennett took sole possession of 10th on the Cougs all-time scoring list scoring her 18th and 19th career goals against Hawai'i.
> WSU's offense in four games ranks 1st in shots per game (28.75) and 7th in scoring (3.75 gpg).
> 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 42-14-8 at home in six-plus seasons including 2-0-1 this season.

The Cougs close out the home portion of non-conference play with a tilt against a long time rival, Seattle U. The two teams have met 16 times with the Cougs holding a 15-1-0 all-time advantage in the series including a 7-1-0 record in Pullman and have won the last five contests. Seattle's lone win in the series came in 2OT in 2014 when the Redhawks shocked the Cougs 2-1 in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament. The previous three seasons the two teams met to begin the year with the last two contests played in Seattle. The last time the teams met in Pullman came in 2018 with the Cougs taking the win 3-1. 
In three career contests against the Redhawks, 5th year senior Elyse Bennett has scored three goals including the game-winner last season.
The Redhawks enter the game Thursday riding a four-match unbeaten streak with a draw against reigning champ Santa Clara and wins over San Diego, Eastern Washington, and Portland. EWU is the lone common opponent with the Cougs winning 4-0 over the Eagles while the Redhawks took a 1-0 decision in their game.

Freshman Reese Tappan, the oldest of the Cougs' newbies, would still not be born for two months the last time Washington State's (3-0-1) offense caught fire in the manner it did Sunday afternoon scoring seven goals against an overmatched Hawai'i (0-3-1) team at Lower Soccer Field. Scoring early and often the Cougs capped off a huge weekend on the pitch with their third-straight shutout essentially putting the game away before Coug nation had finished finding their seats in the stadium. The Cougs had 5 different goal scorers in the game with Elyse Bennett and Bridget Rieken each scoring twice in the win.

For the first time in her standout career, junior Bridget Rieken was named the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week Sept. 6. 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. Rieken led the Cougs to back-to-back shutouts allowing just six total shots against SDSU and Hawaii. In addition she scored her first career goals against Hawaii notching a brace in the 7-0 win.
In addition she was named to the TopDrawerSoccer Team of the Week for her play.

Facing off against teams in their home state the Cougs have shown they control Washington as WSU holds an impressive 70-14-9 all-time record against teams from the Evergreen State. Among those teams the Cougs have dominated their biggest rivals including Gonzaga (24-1-1), Seattle U (15-1-0), and Pac-12 foe Washington (14-9-8) outscoring those three 178-49.

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