WSU Soccer loses first game of season in Michigan

Strong first half propels Michigan to victory



The WSU women’s soccer team practices early in the morning, Aug. 22, at Lower Soccer Field.

JAKE HULL, Evergreen reporter

WSU Soccer (0-1) lost their season opener Thursday against the Michigan Wolverines 2-1 in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

The last time the Cougs and Michigan met was in September 2019 in Pullman where Michigan won 2-1 as well. 

Entering the contest, Michigan was ranked No. 9 in the United Coaches Poll while the Cougs sat at No. 19.  

On Aug. 18, the Wolverines got off to a hot start and produced two goals in the first half. The Cougs answered in the second half with a goal of their own, but could not find the tying goal and fell 2-1.

In the first half, WSU had four shots and produced zero goals while the Wolverines had five shots and produced two goals. 

“Michigan’s a good team, we didn’t finish, I wouldn’t say they handled us, we couldn’t finish our chances there at the end,” WSU head coach Todd Schulenberger said postgame.

WSU goalkeeper Nadia Cooper had two saves in the first half which ended up being the only two saves of the game for WSU. 

The first goal in the game came in the 11th minute with a goal from Sammi Woods that was assisted by Sarah Bridenstine. Bridenstine then got a goal herself in the 21st minute of the first half to double the Wolverines’ lead.

“They’re good on the counter too, they’re good at crossing and finishing that’s how they got us,” Shulenberger said postgame. 

The only yellow card of the half came from the Wolverines as Danielle Wolfe got a yellow for the foul on Alyssa Gray. 

The Cougs produced four shots in the first half, one from Mackenzie Frimpong-Ellertson, one from Jenna Studer, one from Margie Detrizio and one from Lexi Lerwick. Only Lerwick’s shot was on target.

WSU took over the second half of the game and outshot the Wolverines 13-0. Out of the 13 shots from the Cougs they had eight on target and one of them was a goal from Detrizio in the 56th minute of the game. The goal was assisted by Reese Tappan. All of the Cougs seven other shots on target in the second half were saved by the Wolverines.

Detrizio led all players with five shots on goal. Lily Boyden had the second most shots on goal for the Cougs with two. 

Cooper, Tappan, Bridget Rieken and Mykiaa Minniss were the only Cougs starters to play all 90 minutes of the game. 

The Cougs had three corners in the second while the Wolverines had none. WSU was on the attack all second half, constantly putting pressure on the Wolverine defense, especially in the last 15 minutes of the game where WSU had six shots and four of them on target but no goals. 

Winning on the road is not easy, but this game felt like one that slipped away from the Cougs, Shulenberger said postgame.

Besides the two goals allowed by the Cougs, their defense seemed solid. Three of the four Coug defenders played all 90 minutes and kept the shots and pressure on Cooper to a minimum, which is a positive takeaway from the game considering the Wolverines were ranked in the top-10 in the nation. 

Another positive takeaway from the game was the play of Detrizio, whose seven shots with five on target and one goal in just 66 minutes of action is a bright spot for the junior. 

On the Wolverine side of the field, they had two players who played 90 minutes: goalkeeper Izzy Nino and forward Emily Leyson. The Wolverines made six substitutions in the game with Danielle Wolfe playing 55 minutes to lead the subs for Michigan. Wolfe had one of the four shots on goal for Michigan.  WSU used seven substitutions in the game with Boyden playing the most minutes for the subs with 62. She also had two shots on target in the game. 

The next time the Cougs take the field is Thursday when they host the Portland Pilots for their first home game of the season and aim to get their first win of 2022. The game is set to start at 7 p.m. at the Lower Soccer Field and can be watched online through the WSU Livestream.