Soccer hosts first annual Cougar Classic

WSU plays Nebraska and Georgia Southern in the annual home tournament

RYAN BLAKE, Evergreen reporter

The Washington State soccer team host’s the first annual Cougar Classic this weekend on the Lower Soccer Field.

Nebraska, Georgia Southern and Montana will travel to Pullman this weekend, competing in two games each. WSU plays Nebraska on Friday night and Georgia Southern on Sunday afternoon.

The Cougars (1-1-1) dropped their last contest 1-2 Sunday at Santa Clara. Head Coach Todd Shulenberger said he likes what he’s seen from his defense and goalkeepers so far but wants to see improvement on the offensive end over the weekend.

“It’s a work in progress,” Shulenberger said. “We’ve definitely had opportunities, now we’ve just got to finish them.”

The WSU roster is very young, with 13 out of 30 players being true freshmen. Shulenberger said he hopes they will benefit from playing time and exude confidence in front of goal for the start of Pac-12 play.

WSU takes on 14th ranked Nebraska (4-0-0) in their first game of the weekend. The Cornhuskers, coached by John Walker, outscored their opponents 12-1 in August. Their 12 goals are tied for seventh most in the country.

“Nebraska is a very good team,” Shulenberger said. “They’ve got a good attack and they get numbers behind the ball when they defend. They’re organized but we’re up for the challenge and we like where we’re at.”

On Sunday afternoon, the Cougars take on Georgia Southern (2-1-1).

Shulenberger said his team is focusing one game at a time and will look at Georgia Southern following Friday night’s game against Nebraska.

The Eagles traveled nearly 3000 miles across the country from Statesboro, Georgia to compete in the Cougar Classic. This will be the first time in program history the Eagles will compete on the west coast. Shulenberger said he wants his team to grow in certain areas over the weekend.

“[We want to] continue to maintain our defensive side, grow in our possession, become more confident and have more numbers in the final third to get some shots and opportunities to score,” he said.

Montana (3-1-0) will play Georgia Southern on Friday night and Nebraska on Sunday afternoon. WSU does not play the Grizzlies this weekend, but the two will face each other later in September when the Cougars travel to Missoula for their final out-of-conference game.
All this weekend’s games will be broadcast live on the Pac-12 website.