Soccer opens Pac-12 play against No. 2 Stanford

Cardinal lead the country in scoring and shots per game


JESSICA HARJA | Daily Evergreen File

Freshman defender Hanna Goff battles for the ball against CSUN on September 21. WSU won 3 to 0.

RYAN BLAKE, Evergreen reporter

The WSU soccer team opens Pac-12 play against No. 2 Stanford on Thursday at the Lower Soccer Field in Pullman.

The Cougars (5-1-2) completed their non-conference schedule last week with a 3-2 victory at Utah Valley and a scoreless draw at Montana.
Head Coach Todd Shulenberger said he is not surprised at how well his team has performed early in the season, but said he did not expect his freshmen to have such a big impact. Of the 12 players who have recorded a goal or assist for WSU this season, six are freshmen.

Stanford (7-1-0) enter Pullman after defeating Santa Clara 2-1 on the road in their last contest. The Cardinals are ranked as the No. 2 team in the country, behind only UCLA in the latest United Soccer Coaches poll.

Stanford leads the country in scoring with 39 goals scored in eight contests. They also lead the nation in shots per game with over 25. On the contrary, Stanford’s four goals allowed are tied for the fewest in the Pac-12.The Cougars, along with Colorado, are tied with Stanford for fewest goals allowed in the conference.

WSU goalkeeper Ella Dederick’s six shutouts are tied for most in the Pac-12. The redshirt junior has made 17 saves, third fewest among qualified Pac-12 goalkeepers, as the veteran defense in front of her has worked hard to keep opponents from getting shots off. Shulenberger said his team will stick to what has worked and not let Stanford dictate their game plan.

“They are who they are, and we are who we are,” Shulenberger said.

Junior defender Maddy Haro reiterated Shulenberger’s sentiment, saying they are confident in their defense.

“We value them as a team and we know that they are really good, but we also know that we are really good defensively, too,” she said.

Stanford is not the first high-powered offense the Cougars will face this year. The WSU defense allowed just seven shots in a 1-0 victory against then No. 14 Nebraska earlier this month. Haro said her team is confident in the familiar role as the underdog.

“We’re Washington State. We always get doubted and we’re always the underdog, but we love it,” Haro said. “It gives more of a reason to come out and perform and show everybody else up.”

Stanford’s only loss came in August against then No. 2 Florida in 3-2 thriller in Gainesville, Florida. The Cardinals are the third ranked team WSU faces this year. The Cougars tied 0-0 with No. 19 Minnesota and defeated No. 14 Nebraska 1-0 earlier this season.

Thursday’s match is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. on the Lower Soccer Field in Pullman.