A clash in Corvallis
> The Cougs look to close out their weekend in Oregon perfect as they head to Corvallis to take on the Beavers Sunday. WSU has won the last three against the Beavers (all in Pullman) but is looking for its first win in Corvallis since 2015 after losing a heartbreaker in 2017 in 2OT.
> Last time out the Cougs picked up a huge win at Oregon scoring the game-winner in the 89' to secure the victory in a match with big postseason implications.
> The Cougs look to remain unbeaten on the road in 2021 entering the week 7-0-1 away from Pullman with a 17-to-2 goal scoring advantage. The lone blemish a 2-2 draw at ASU three weeks ago.
> Freshman Nadia Cooper the reigning Pac-12 GKoW picked up her 7th shutout of the season in the win over Oregon. The 7 solo shutouts tied for seventh in single-season history.
> The defense has been up to the task in 2021 allowing seven goals (0.39 GAA) while posting 12 shutouts (2nd most in program history). The Cougs ranks 2nd in the nation in GAA.
> Freshman Nadia Cooper leads the nation with a 0.33 GAA having conceded just four goals in 13 appearances. 5 of her 7 shutouts have come on the road.
> The offense has scored 35 goals with 10 different players recording a goal and eight different game-winners. WSU's offense ranks 9th in shots per game (20.06) and 50th in scoring (2.06 gpg). WSU is +28 in goals scored on the year.
> Elyse Bennett leads the attack with 10 goals, 4th in the Pac-12, and 23 points. She has scored five goals in nine Pac-12 games (2 of which were game-winners)
> The Cougs RPI jumped to 40 to start the week while their adjusted RPI after Thursday is 27 putting them right on the bubble for another NCAA Tournament berth.
> Under head coach Todd Shulenberger, the Cougs have gone 34-25-6 away from home (both away and neutral sites). WSU is 7-0-1 on the year on the road.
> 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 BEAVERS
The Cougs head to Corvallis looking to further bolster their postseason resume by taking on a Beavers team headed in the wrong direction after a frenetic start to their 2021 campaign. WSU has won three-straight against the Beavers, all of which have come in Pullman. Last season the Cougs came out on top, 3-2, with both Elyse Bennett and Grayson Lynch coming up with goals in the win to lead the way. Over the winning streak the Cougs have outscored Oregon State, 7-3, at Lower Soccer Field. In the last 10 matches the Cougs are 7-3 against the Beavers while going 2-2 in Corvallis. The last win coming in 2015 for the Cougs, 2-1.
For the Beavers the last few weeks have not been kind as OSU has lost four-straight, three of which were one-goal decisions including a 2-1 loss to Washington Thursday. In the loss Oregon State did see McKenna Martinez net her 10th goal of the year, a mark which ties for 4th in the Pac-12. Bridgette Skiba has been in goal for all 10 wins while producing three shutouts.
In addition to the game Thursday is a reunion of such for senior Sydney Studer who played her first three season at Oregon State before transferring to WSU prior to the start of the 2021 season. Also, assistant coach Matt Kagan returns to Corvallis after spending the last two seasons as the head coach of the Beavers.
LAST TIME OUT
A night of near misses and frustration turned into a night of pure bliss for Washington State (11-2-4, 5-1-3) as an 88' header by star striker Elyse Bennett secured an important Pac-12 road win for the Cougs, 1-0, over Oregon (9-3-5, 4-3-2) Thursday night at Pape Field. As anxiety mounted and the clock ticked ever closer to 90, the Cougs found the missing goal they had been searching for all night long, cashing in on their sixth corner of the contest to nab the game-winner.
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 seven goals (0.39 GAA) while posting 12 shutouts.
The 7 goals and 0.39 GAA ranks #2 in the nation. The Cougs all-time record for GAA is 0.50 set in 2013.
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