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Moving on

Nov 13, 2021

In Case You Missed It
PULLMAN, Wash. – Beginning their way on the road to the College Cup, #15 Washington State (14-2-4) took the first step towards Santa Clara with a resounding 3-0 win over Montana (13-6-1) Saturday night at Lower Soccer Field. In complete control from the first whistle, it took a while for the flood gates to open, but when they did there was no stopping the Cougs' high-powered offense. Taking it to the stingy Griz defense, the Cougs would finally break through for the opening score in the 37' minute when sophomore Marin Whieldon picked the perfect time to opener her scoring ledger as a Coug. Earning a free kick from just outside the offensive third, the Cougs made the most of their set piece opportunity as senior Mykiaa Minniss delivered a pin point ball to the back post where Whieldon was waiting to head the ball back across the face of the goal and to the far post for the score.
Out of the break the Cougs continued to probe the defense of the Griz looking for any cracks to add to their score. On multiple occasions the Cougs looked like they would dent the scoreboard once again only to see their attempts cleared away at the last second from the goal mouth. Sydney Studer on multiple occasions fell victim to bad luck as she banged one off the post and had two more cleared off the line by the final defender for Montana, denying the senior her goal. Despite the frustration Studer continued to press the action finally overwhelming the Griz defense inside the box, forcing a foul and earning the Cougs' the penalty kick. As she has done all season long, Sydney Pulver made good for her teammate, calmly slotting home her fourth from the spot and sixth of the season as WSU put the first crooked number on the board against the Griz defense since Sept. 5. With the defensive wall broken the Cougs would put the game out of reach minutes later as the two Sydneys connected to set up the third and final scoring chance, this time for Grayson Lynch. Taking the one-timer from Studer, Lynch took a touch to split the Griz defense before roofing a final dagger into the top of the net for what would be the final margin of victory for the Cougs.
Defensively the Cougs stymied the Griz attack holding Montana to just two shots. The Griz did put a small scare into the Cougs early when a slip in the defensive third let a ball get through to the far side of the box where Montana's Ali Monroe was waiting. Monroe would get a good look, tagging one off the post just out of reach of freshman Nadia Cooper in goal. The early scare would be more than enough to refocus the Cougs' defense as WSU would not allow another shot in the match until a long ball chance from Montana in the 83rd minutes sailed well wide and out of play.

Stat of the Match
The Cougs dominated the night with a 20-to-2 shot advantage and a 12-to-0 corner advantage. 

The Moments That Made The Match

Things You Need To Know

  • The Cougs advanced out of the first round of the NCAA Tournament for the fourth-straight postseason.
    • The win was the Cougs' third-straight at home
    • The Cougs improved to 9-11-4 all-time in the NCAA Tournament and 7-4-1 under head coach Todd Shulenberger.
  • The win was the Cougs' 14th of the season tying for the second most all-time trailing on the 16-win 2019 team that played their way to the College Cup.
  • WSU improved to 15-6-2 all-time against Montana including 11-2-1 at home
    • In the postseason the Cougs are 2-1 against the Griz with back-to-back first round wins in 2018 and 2021.
  • WSU recorded its 13th shutout of the season as Nadia Cooper and Marissa Zucchetto shared the cleansheet for the fourth time. Neither keeper was forced to make a save in the game.
    • The win went to Cooper her 10th of the year, tying for the 10th most in programs history.
  • The team recorded its 45th goal on the year, tying for the most in the modern Pac-10/12 era with the 2019 team and the most since the 1991 season.
  • Marin Whieldon scored her first career goal and became the 11th different Coug to score on the year and the 10th different player to net a game-winner.
  • Sydney Pulver netted her sixth goal of the season and her fourth PK goal (a perfect 4-for-4 on the year). She would also added her fifth assist of the year.
  • Sydney Studer tallied her team-best 6th assist on the season and earned the Cougs' PK in the 79th minute.
  • Grayson Lynch added to her career-best total with her 8th goal of the season.
  • WSU advances to take on 3-seed Tennessee in the second round of the NCAA Tournament Friday, Nov. 19 in Ann Arbor at Michigan Soccer Stadium. Michigan, the 2-seed in the region, will host both the second and third round tournament games at their home site.