Ready to rebound
> The Cougs host Cal at Lower Soccer Field for the first time since 2018 when WSU beat the Bears, 4-2. WSU is riding a two-match winning streak against Cal
> Last time out the Cougs suffered their first loss in nearly a month falling 1-0 to #14 Stanford Thursday night on the Palouse.
> 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 four goals (0.33 GAA - 3rd in the nation) while posting nine shutouts.
> WSU set a program record with 578:45 scoreless minutes before conceding in the 29' to Stanford last time out.
> Freshman Nadia Cooper became the program's record holder for consecutive shutout minutes running her streak to 523:56 minutes to begin her career before relinquishing her first career goal last time out. The freshman leads the nation with a 0.15 GAA.
> The offense has scored 29 goals with 10 different players recording a goal and eight different game-winners. WSU's offense ranks 8th in shots per game (21.25) and 31st in scoring (2.42 gpg). WSU is +25 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 four Pac-12 games.
> The Cougs rank #7 in the country in average attendance at 1,582 fans through six contests.
> Under head coach Todd Shulenberger, the Cougs have gone 42-16-8 at home in six-plus seasons including 3-2-1 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 BEARS
The Cougs host Cal at Lower Soccer Field for the first time since 2018 when WSU beat the Bears, 4-2. In that game Sydney Pulver and Brianna Alger both scored goals with Pulver's going down as the game-winning strike for the Cougs. WSU is riding a two-match winning streak against Cal as the two meet for Sunday after a year hiatus as the 2021 spring contest was cancelled due to Covid-19. Last time the two met came in 2019 in Berkeley when the Cougs picked up a golden goal from Makamae Gomera-Stevens. While the Bears hold the edge in the overall series at 16-11-3 the Cougs hold the edge in Pullman having gone 8-5-1 at Lower Soccer Field.
The Bears come to Pullman off a 1-0 loss to Washington in Seattle Thursday night. The loss was the Bears second in Pac-12 play as they enter the match 1-2-1 in the first three weeks of conference play. The lone common opponent so far for the Cougs and the Bears is Colorado a match which Cal drew, 2-2, in 2OT to start Pac-12 play in Berkeley. Karlie Lema leads the Bears' attack with four goals while Angelina Anderson has posted five wins and four shutouts in goal.
LAST TIME OUT
A battle until the final whistle, a 29' minute goal would prove to be the difference as Washington State (9-2-1, 3-1-0) fell to No. 14 Stanford (9-3-0, 3-1-0), 1-0, Thursday night at Lower Soccer Field. In what proved to be an evenly played game between two Pac-12 opponents looking for their footing in the conference title race it was the Cardinal who came out on top after finding the early goal and making it hold up for over an hour on the Palouse.
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 in 2019 including leading the team to the College Cup as underclassmen and have played nearly every minute together for the last three seasons.
On the year the Cougs have allowed just four goals (0.33 GAA) while posting nine shutouts.
The 4 goals against ranks tied for #1 in the country while the 0.33 GAA ranks percentage points off the lead in 3rd.
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