The Daily Evergreen

Soccer takes on UNLV

By Kurt Schroeder, Evergreen Soccer reporter

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After an unbeaten road trip over the weekend, the WSU women’s soccer team will host the UNLV Rebels Friday at 2:30 p.m.

The Cougars will go into the match with a defense that has not given up a goal in over 349 minutes, and their 0.19 goals against average is good for 10th nationally, according to Washington State University Athletics.

“It helps when you have a veteran backline,” said Head Coach Keidane McAlpine. “A lot of leadership and a lot of experience in that back group. That keeps us solid and keeps us focused for the rest of the team.”

The defense will look to continue its stellar play against a tough team that remained unbeaten in its last four matches.

“Our back line has been very, very good,” McAlpine said. “Everything has been pretty solid, pretty controlled.”

Offensively, the Cougars will continue to focus on ball movement, which will create set pieces and allow multiple players to have scoring opportunities.

Ball movement keeps the other team on the defensive and gives the Cougs a more predictable idea of what is coming next, McAlpine said.

Although the team has yet to lose, McAlpine is focused on improvement.

“We have to just continue to build, we have to continue to grow,” McAlpine said. “It’s still fairly early in the season. We took some good steps this weekend, every week we add some more pieces.”

The team definitely seems to be taking steps in the right direction, which McAlpine attributes to a higher level of intensity from his players recently.

“This week we finally got our intensity level to where it needed to be,” he said. “We’ll need to keep it there while still playing high quality soccer.”

Although intensity has become apparent among the players, capitalizing on scoring opportunities is still an area in progress for the team.

“We have to put the ball in the net when we have the number of chances that we’ve had,” McAlpine said.

WSU will make its first television appearance of the season on Friday. The game will air on the Pac-12 Networks, but McAlpine does not think will affect his players.

“We just have to focus in and do what we do,” he said. “I think it will create the proper environment and a good show for the TV audience.”

The Cougars and Rebels have split the all-time series 2-2, with the home team winning all four matches.

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Soccer takes on UNLV