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

Cougars net early goals in 2-1 win over San Diego State

WSU moves to 5-0 for first time since 2018
WSU forward Margie Detrizio battles for the ball in an NCAA soccer match at Lower Soccer Field in Pullman, Wash. August 31, 2023.

The No. 17 WSU women’s soccer team (5-0-0) continued their perfect start to the season with a 2-1 win over visiting San Diego State (2-2-1) Thursday night at Lower Soccer Field. Senior Bridget Rieken and freshman Megan Santa Cruz each scored within the first five minutes to put the Cougs up early and hold off the visiting Aztecs.

Less than three minutes into the game, a shot from senior Margie Detrizio was saved by the SDSU goalkeeper. On the ensuing corner kick, freshman Reagan Kotschau sent a ball into the box that found Rieken’s head and bounced into the back of the net at the far post. The goal was Rieken’s second of the year, and the assist was Kotschau’s first of her WSU career.

“The people who take the corners, phenomenal balls,” Rieken said. “They provide me with a perfect ball and I just read the service. So yeah I just don’t overthink it.”

Head coach Todd Shulenberger spoke after the game about Rieken, her goal, and her performance leading the Cougar defense.

“She’s back and that’s what she does around the corners,” Shulenberger said. “Great defender, awesome set-piece, great goal for Bridget and she’s just moving really well. I’m happy for Bridget.”

Around two minutes after the opening goal, WSU was in possession and pushed forward for another goal. Moving the ball up the left side of the field, freshman Georgia Whitehead dribbled forward and found Detrizio with her back to goal about 10 yards outside the box. Detrizio held the ball up for a second, and with a defender on her back, managed to slip the ball to a sprinting Santa Cruz. The freshman took a touch to control the ball before dribbling through three Aztec defenders into the box.

Santa Cruz finished her first career goal with a wonderful strike that went off the underside of the crossbar, and over the SDSU goalkeeper.  

“Once I saw Margie take the touch in I kind of just ran off her, saw it, cut in and shot it.,” Santa Cruz said. “I think we had a lot of chances in front of goal, especially inside the six-yard box. We just need to finish it, we had a lot of energy and effort to try and put it in.”

The two early goals are the two fastest Cougar goals since WSU scored twice in the opening six minutes against Hawaii in September of 2021.

After entering halftime leading 2-0, the Cougs had a flurry of shots to open the second half. They also had multiple corner kick chances, with one being saved off the goal line by an Aztec defender. San Diego State’s goal came in the 71st minute when a powerful shot was saved by WSU’s junior goalkeeper Nadia Cooper. The ball bobbled out of Cooper’s hands and before she could fall on it, SDSU’s Denise Castro was there to poke the ball into the goal.

The Cougars finished the game with 27 shots (10 on target)  compared to the Aztec’s five total shots in the game. WSU led the game with 10 corner kicks compared to the Aztec’s two. Cooper finished the game with three saves. The Cougar defense was very good once again, limiting SDSU to only three shots on goal all game.

“It was 27 shots to five, we left four or five goals out there easily,” Shulenberger said. “I think that we defended well, we gave up an unfortunate goal. Nadia came out, the ball just slipped through her hands, I mean it’s going to happen. Outside of that, I don’t really recall them having a lot of looks at all. I was really impressed with how we played tonight… We played great soccer tonight and we’re moving on.” 

The Cougs get a well-deserved break this weekend, with no game Sunday. They are back in action at 7 p.m. Thursday when they take on the Saint Mary’s Gaels at Lower Soccer Field.

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About the Contributor
JOSEPH RUTO, Evergreen reporter