Soccer team sweeps Cougar Classic Tournament

A couple of wins help WSU maintain pace in the Pac-12 standings

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ABBY LINNENKOHL | The Daily Evergreen

Freshmen forward Makamae Gomera-Stevens dribbles the ball under pressure in a game against Georgia Southern during the Cougar Classic Tournament. In total, WSU scored five goals and allowed zero.

RYAN BLAKE, Evergreen reporter

WSU soccer (3-1-1) swept the weekend series, winning both games in the Cougar Classic Tournament.

The Cougars handed No. 14 Nebraska (5-1-0) their first loss of the season before defeating Georgia Southern (2-3-1) with five goals on Sunday.

The Cornhuskers entered Pullman undefeated, but left with their first loss. Coming into the match, Nebraska scored 12 goals on the season — seventh most in the country. Shutdown defense by WSU held the ranked team scoreless for the first time this year.

Head coach Todd Shulenberger said he knew going into the game that it would be close.

“We outshot them,” he said. “We outscored them. We out-fouled them, and this is a Nebraska team that is for real.”

Sophomore forward Morgan Weaver kept constant pressure on the Cornhuskers’ goalie with six shots.

After near misses throughout the game, Weaver broke through in the 69th minute. She got on the end of a deflected header, placing the ball in the bottom left corner of the goal from just outside the six-yard box to give the Cougars a 1-0 lead.

It was all they needed.

ABBY LINNENKOHL | The Daily Evergeen
Senior midfield Sofia Anker-Kofoed just before scoring a penalty kick during Sunday’s game against Georgia Southern.

Redshirt junior goalkeeper Ella Dederick made four saves to keep Nebraska off the board.

“We had a good plan defensively of how we were going to play,” Shulenberger said. “We got a good goalkeeper, we got a good backline, we can head and clear. That’s a good recipe.”

The win marked the second shutout against a top-25 opponent this season. The Cougars played to a scoreless draw Aug. 19 against Minnesota.

WSU returned to the Lower Soccer Field on Sunday afternoon for a dominating 5-0 victory against Georgia Southern to finish off the weekend tournament.

Senior midfield Sofia Anker-Kofoed opened the scoring in the sixth minute, netting a penalty kick after freshman forward Makamae Gomera-Stevens was taken down in the box.

Continuous scoring and dominant possession throughout the match ultimately sealed another win for WSU. Weaver scored in the 58th minute for her second goal on the weekend.

Three freshmen — midfielder Sydney Pulver, midfielder Jamie Rita and defender Sarah Davidson — all scored their first career goals Sunday. In total, 22 Cougar players appeared in Sunday’s game, nine of them freshmen.

“It was an exciting game over all for the freshmen and the whole team,” Shulenberger said. “Sunday soccer is about the whole team, depth and bench. Those players rose up. For three freshmen to get on the scoreboard today was awesome.”

Sunday’s victory did not matter, Shulenberger said before the game — winning was not a priority.

Montana (4-2-0) also competed in the Cougar Classic over the weekend, though they did not play WSU. The Grizzlies defeated Georgia Southern 2-1 on Friday before dropping Sunday’s contest 1-0 to Nebraska

WSU plays again 7 p.m. Friday against CSUN (2-0-4) on the Lower Soccer Field. The Matadors have yet to lose a game this season, but they have tied four times.