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Soccer Welcomes Portland for Home Opener

Aug 23, 2022

WASHINGTON STATE (0-1-0)
vs Portland (1-0-1)

Thursday, Aug. 25 | 7 p.m. PT
Pullman, Wash. | Lower Soccer Field
Watch Live | WSU Live Stream (PxP: Trevor Williams)
Live Stats | StatBroadcast

OPENING XI
I.  WSU welcomes Portland for its 2022 home-opener at Lower Soccer Field, Thursday night at 7 p.m.
II.  The Cougs have never beat the Pilots in 15 matchups with a 0-14-1 all-time record
III.  WSU tied the Pilots in the 2012 NCAA Tournament First Round before falling, 6-5, in PKs
IV.  The home opener marks the first meeting of the programs since Shulenberger arrived at WSU prior to the 2015 season
V.  The Cougs have posted a 21-8-4 all-time record in home openers
VI.  WSU has not lost a home opener since 2016 against #16 BYU, 2-1, in 2OT,  going 3-0-2 in Pullman debuts since then
VII.  Sophomore defender Reese Tappan recorded her first career assist in the Cougars' season opening loss at #9 Michigan off of a throw-in to junior forward Margie Detrizio
VIII.  WSU held #9 Michigan without a shot in the second half, outshooting UM, 17-5
IX.  Junior forward Margie Detrizio scored her eighth career goal and the first of the season in the 56th minute of the loss at #9 Michigan
X.  Fifth-year senior Sydney Studer is expected to re-join the starting lineup after serving a 1-game suspension for a red card at the end of the 2021 season
XI.  Coach Shulenberger is 7 wins shy of tying the all-time wins record at WSU

COUGARS VS PILOTS
Thursday's home opener marks the 16th all-time meeting between the WSU and Portland soccer programs. The Cougars have never beaten the Pilots, with a 0-14-1 record. The home debut is the first matchup between the storied programs since WSU Coach Shulenberger arrived in Pullman, prior to the 2015 season. WSU's lone result against UP came in the First Round of the 2012 NCAA Tournament, a 2-2, double-overtime tie, which was decided in penalty kicks. Portland advanced 6-5.

COUGS IN HOME OPENERS
Entering their home game against Portland Thursday, the Cougs have posted a 21-8-4 all-time record in home openers. The Cougs have won three of the last five home openers and are unbeaten in their last five with their last loss coming to #16 BYU, 2-1, in 2OT Aug. 19, 2016. Last season the Cougs tied Arkansas 1-1 in 2OT. Under head coach Todd Shulenberger, the Cougs have gone 45-16-10 at home in seven seasons.

COUGS TABBED THIRD BY PAC-12 COACHES
Washington State was voted third by coaches of the Pac-12 Conference in this fall's preseason poll. The placement marks the highest selection in program history, including a pair of first-place votes for the first time.

CAREER COUG MYKIAA MINNISS
Washington State fifth-year senior Mykiaa Minniss started her 74th career match for the Cougs in the season opener, Aug. 18 at Michigan. Minniss is two starts shy of breaking into the top-10 list for career starts, excluding goalkeepers. If Minniss starts all the regular-season matches this year, she would finish as WSU's all-time career starts leader with 92, besting former teammate Sydney Pulver, who finished her career with 91 starts in Crimson & Gray.

PRESEASON PRAISE
The Cougs picked up some of their highest preseason honors in program history. WSU was selected No. 19 in the TopDrawerSoccer preseason poll, matching the highest preseason ranking in team history. Wazzu was also voted No. 20 in the United Soccer Coaches preseason poll, tying its best-ever preseason selection in a national coaches poll.

SHULENBERGER APPROACHES HISTORIC RECORD
Shulenberger entered his 8th season at the helm of the Cougar soccer program with 81 career wins, seven shy of the all-time wins record set by former coach Matt Potter. Currently, Shulenberger could tie the record as early as WSU's matchup at Saint Mary's and break the record with an 89th win in Corvallis against Oregon State. Shulenberger also holds the second-best win percentage in program history. Over seven seasons, he holds a .644 win percentage.

UNITED SOCCER COACHES NAME THREE TO PRESEASON WATCHLISTS
Three Cougs were named to the United Soccer Coaches Division I Players to Watch. Sophomore Nadia Cooper was named to the goalkeepers watchlist. Fifth-year seniors Mykiaa Minniss (D) and Sydney Studer (M) were also named as players to watch at their positions. Only returning student-athletes who were named to a USC All-Region team last season are eligible for the preseason watchlists.

THREE COUGS RETURN WITH PRESEASON HONORS
A program record five Cougars were named to the 2021 United Soccer Coaches NCAA Division I Women's All-Pacific Region Team. Three return for the 2022 season, including first-team honorees Nadia Cooper and Mykiaa Minniss, alongside Sydney Studer on the second team.

COOPER RETURNS AS REIGNING GK AND FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR
Sophomore goalkeeper Nadia Cooper returns for her second season as the defending Pac-12 Freshman and Goalkeeper of the Year. It was a historic run of success for the young netminder, as she became the first player in program history to earn not only the top freshman award but also the top goalkeeper award. Putting herself among the best to ever do it, Cooper finished the regular season 9-1-3 between the posts while tallying seven solo shutouts despite not taking over the starting job until Sept. 12. She would go on to set the Cougs' all-time record for consecutive shutout minutes with 523:56 minutes to begin her career.

DEFENSIVE CORE RETURNS
Defensively the Cougs were one of the best teams in the country last season, finishing the year with 12 shutouts and just 13 total goals allowed for a 0.59 GAA, the second-best goals against average in program history. They show no signs of letting up, returning a veteran backline, anchored by fifth-year senior captain Mykiaa Minniss and senior Bridget Rieken in the middle. The all-conference duo has 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. Also, making her return in the lineup is Aaqila McLyn, a redshirt, fifth-year senior who suffered a season-ending injury last preseason and returned for a final campaign.

LYNCH BACK WITH A BANG
Senior forward Grayson Lynch hopes to continue a strong run of form. Last season, Lynch returned from hip surgery to finish second on the team with a career-best 8 goals on the year, while also adding a pair of assists. Scoring in bunches, Lynch notched a pair of braces on the year, becoming the first Coug with a pair of multi-goal games in a season since all-American Morgan Weaver tallied four multi-goal games in 2019.

SISTER SISTER
When junior Jenna Studer transferred to Pullman, she joined her sister and fifth-year senior Sydney on the Cougar roster. The duo are one of 50 sets of sisters playing on the same team in Division-I soccer this season. The Cougs also have junior Marin Whieldon with older sister Shayna serving as the team's coordinator of operations. Wazzu is one of just 9 programs in the country with two sister pairings and the only with a staff-athlete combination.

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