Taking a crack at the Cardinal
> The Cougs return home for a critical contest against #15 Stanford in a game that has implications for the postseason and the Pac-12 title race. WSU is looking for its first win over the Cardinal since 2013.
> Last time out the Cougs swept the Rocky Mountain road trip for the first time in 2015 shutting out Utah, 1-0, and Colorado, 2-0.
> For the first time since 2018 the Cougs took home two of three Pac-12 Players of the Week with Nadia Cooper (GK) and Sydney Pulver (DEF) nabbing their first career awards.
> The defense has been up to the task in 2021 allowing a nation's low three goals (0.27 GAA - 3rd in the nation) while posting nine shutouts.
> WSU set a program record with its sixth-straight shutout. Overall, the Cougs have not conceded in 549:49 minutes, the second-longest streak in program history and just 7:22 shy of tying the all-time mark (557:11 set from 8/23/13 to 9/15/13).
> Freshman Nadia Cooper enters the match with a freshman record 495:00 personal shutout streak (7:11 from the all-time record of 512:11 consecutive minutes set by Gurveen Clair in 2013.)
> The offense has scored 29 goals with 10 different players recording a goal and eight different game-winners. WSU's offense ranks 5th in shots per game (22.27) and 22nd in scoring (2.64 gpg). WSU is +26 in goals scored on the year.
> Elyse Bennett leads the attack with 7 goals and 17 points ranking 3rd in the Pac-12. She has scored two goals in three Pac-12 games.
> The Cougs rank #5 in the country in average attendance at 1,752 fans through five contests.
> Under head coach Todd Shulenberger, the Cougs have gone 42-15-8 at home in six-plus seasons including 2-1-1 this season.
> 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.
COUGS VS CARDINAL
Back home after a week away the Cougs have the tough task of taking on a Cardinal team rounding into form after a stunning loss at home against Oregon State last week. The Cardinal, 8-3-0 on the year, lost for the first time on The Farm to the Beavers but rebounded with a 2-1 win over Oregon Sunday, handing the Ducks their first loss of the year.
All-time the Cardinal have dominated the series with the Cougs at 24-3-2 including posting six-match unbeaten streak. The last result for the Cougs was a 1-1 draw with the No. 1 Cardinal in 2018 in Pullman but the last time out was not too kind to the Cougs as WSU fell 5-0 to the eventual national champion Cardinal in Stanford in 2019. That was the last time the two teams met as the 2021 spring meeting was cancelled due to Covid-19 protocols.
Maya Doms leads the attack for the Cardinal with seven goals on the year including scoring the game-winner against the Ducks on Sunday. Katie Meyer is 8-3 in goal with six shutouts (4 shared) while posting 24 saves.
LAST TIME OUT
A second half surge by Washington State (9-1-1, 3-0-0) lifted the Cougars to a 2-0 win over host Colorado (6-4-1, 1-1-1) Sunday afternoon at Prentup Field in Boulder, Colo. After a battle in the first half the Cougs seized control of the day out of the break with goals from Elyse Bennett and Alyssa Gray. Nadia Cooper netted her fourth solo shutout in goal for the Cougs as WSU stayed perfect on the road at 6-0-0 on the year.
KEEPING IT CLEAN ON THE SCORE SHEET
On pace for a historic defensive season in 2021, the Cougars have been nearly perfect on the year having posted 9 shutouts and just 3 goals against in 11 contests.
The 9 shutouts is puts the team just one shutout away from becoming the 7th Cougar squad with double-digit shutouts in a season and within reach of the all-time record of 15 set in 2013.
The Cougs set the record for consecutive-shutouts Sunday at Colorado with their 6th-straight, snapping the previous mark of 5 set in 2013.
Entering the match the Cougs have not conceded a goal in 549:49 minutes, the second-longest streak in program history and just 7:22 away from the record 557:11 set from 8/23/13 to 9/15/13
COOPER, PULVER NAMED PAC-12 PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
For the first time since the 2018 season the Cougars nabbed two Pac-12 weekly awards as freshman Nadia Cooper was named Goalkeeper of the Week while fifth-year Sydney Pulver took home Defensive Player of the Week. The pair of first-time winners were the first duo of WSU honorees since Morgan Weaver (Offensive) and Rachel Johnson (Goalkeeper) earned two of the three weekly awards on Oct. 30, 2018.
In a season that defensively is shaping up to be a historic run for the Cougs, the weekend was no different for the Cougs as WSU swept their road trip to the Rocky Mountains for the first time since 2015, earning a pair of shutouts at Utah and Colorado. The pair of cleansheets ran the Cougs' season total to nine including a perfect six of six on the road in 2021.
While not tested often thanks to the Cougs' constant pressure in the attack and smothering defense in the back, Cooper was always up to the task when called upon including posting a season-high five saves Sunday at Colorado. Not only did Cooper stop every shot that came her way she even got into the offensive attack herself with the game-winning assist in the 58' minute to Elyse Bennett. The goalkeeper assist was the first for a Coug netminder since Rachel Johnson tallied the offensive stat in WSU's 3-0 win over Idaho, Sept. 6, 2018.
In Pulver, the Cougs' soft-spoken leader continued her excellent play in the midfield, putting together another pair of contests that while quiet on the stat sheet played loudly on the field. Always a calming presence, Pulver became the program's all-time leader in matches played Thursday at Utah appearing in her record-setting 87th contest, a mark she added to Sunday in her home state at Colorado.
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