The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

WSU soccer opens season with home victory

Strong second half pushes the Cougs to season opening win
WSU forward Grayson Lynch appeals to the referee for a penalty kick during an NCAA women’s soccer match, Aug. 17, 2023, in Pullman, Wash.

Two freshmen made their debut goals in the season opener as WSU soccer (1-0) won against the Eastern Washington Eagles 3-1 in Pullman.

Over 3,000 people were in attendance at Lower Soccer Field, which is the second-largest crowd in program history. The Cougs and Eagles last met in August 2022 in Pullman, where WSU also won 3-1. WSU had never lost or tied a game against EWU and that remained true on Thursday night.

In Thursday’s game, the Eagles got off to a hot start scoring the games opening goal, after a well-placed cross was slotted home at the back post by forward Grace Terrill. The first half featured a lot of WSU attacking play, with a total of 14 shots in the first half. 

“They countered on us. It was 27 to 4 in total shots. I’d argue it was only two shots on goal. We gave up a goal on the counter. We had plenty of opportunities and quite honestly we left at least 3 or 4 more (goals) out there for sure,” said WSU head coach Todd Shulenberger after the game.

WSU Athletics
Senior forward Margie Detrizio celebrates with freshman midfielder Reagan Kotschau after a goal Aug. 17 vs Eastern Washington

WSU came out of halftime still trailing by one goal. There were five total shots in the first 15 minutes of the second half for the Cougs, but EWU goalkeeper Kamryn Willoughby made a couple of nice saves to deny any goals.

The first goal for WSU came in the 63rd minute when senior forward Margie Detrizio received a long through ball from junior Reese Tappan. Detrizio beat two defenders before placing the ball into the upper netting to make it 1-1. This was Detrizio’s 19th career goal, one shy of the WSU all-time top 10 list. She also led the team with 11 goals last season.

Less than two minutes later, WSU freshman Reagan Kotschau scored her first collegiate goal. Detrizio received the assist, and after playing Kotschau on the right side of the box, she cut inside and chipped the ball over the goalie.

“I just felt on top of the world, it was the coolest feeling ever, especially in front of all the people that were here. It’s a different environment than anything I’ve ever played before,” Kotschau said after the game.

ZzuCru holds up a tifo display during an NCAA women’s soccer match against EWU, Aug. 17, 2023, in Pullman, Wash.

WSU secured the win in the 76th minute, with freshman Naomi Clark receiving the ball from fellow freshman Nat Lewis in the box. Clark held off a defender and fired her debut goal into the bottom left corner to secure the 3-1 win. 

“I didn’t even think it was gonna go in at first, but then it did and when I saw that I had to scream my head off,” said Clark. “We came out strong in the first half, but there were just little mistakes that hurt us. In the second half we came out kinda angry and wanting to score, and I think that pushed us and we attacked a lot better.”

The Cougs defense was impressive holding the Eagles to four total shots all game. Junior goalkeeper Nadia Cooper made one save and earned her 19th career win in goal, moving her to sixth on WSU’s career win list. Cooper also moved into sixth all-time with 3,244 career minutes in goal.

“I thought we played good tonight,” Shulenberger said postgame. “We moved the ball well. We had a lot of impact from a lot of players. Our freshmen proved what they are going to be able to do this year, as well as our returners up front.”

WSU forward Margie Detrizio shoots toward goal during an NCAA women’s soccer match against EWU, Aug. 17, 2023, in Pullman, Wash.

Megan Santa Cruz, Keeley Copper, Alena Watts, Rajanah Reed, Shevaun Judon, Clark, Lewis and Kotschau all made their debuts for WSU. It was only the fourth time in program history and the first time since 2015 that two freshmen scored in the opening game of the season. Kotschau and Clark became the 18th and 19th players in school history to net a debut goal in the first game of the season. 

WSU followed the win over EWU with a tight win over Texas A&M, finishing with three goals to the Aggies two.

The Cougs are in action next at 7 p.m. Thursday at University of Portland.

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About the Contributors
JOSEPH RUTO, Evergreen reporter
COLE QUINN, Evergreen Sports Photographer
Cole Quinn is a photographer and columnist for the Daily Evergreen. Cole primarily shoots sports for the Daily Evergreen and writes album reviews in his spare time. Cole is a junior broadcast production major and sports communication minor from Snoqualmie, Washington. Cole started working for the Evergreen in the fall of 2020 as a photographer. Cole was the Photo Editor during his sophomore year and Deputy Photo Editor for the fall 2022 semester.