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 play through spurts and moments

These cougars are playing with 12% of their potential and it shows.
Naomi+Clark+battles+for+the+battle+with+a+Seattle+U+player+during+the+first+half+of+the+match%2C+Sept.+14.+
MADDY RICE
Naomi Clark battles for the battle with a Seattle U player during the first half of the match, Sept. 14.

The Cougars (7-1-0) walked away from their tussle with Seattle U (2-6-1) with a 2-1 win but I do not know how deserved it really was. 

With little in the way of strategy on either side, the Cougars seemed to play less soccer and more ‘boot-ball.’ The ball makes its way into the air every third kick or so, leaving the play more to chance than to anything else.

This is not to say that the Cougars are not skilled. For the most part, they are individually strong players, but the cohesiveness as a team is lacking at best and nonexistent at worst.

“We need to bring that Coug edge back, I feel like we have kind of been missing that,” Cougar defender Bridget Rieken said.

Story continues below advertisement

The game fell rather uneventful with a large amount of boot-ball being played by both squads. A great example of poor play would be SU number three Kailee Wilson making a throw-in straight to a Cougar player and WSU still making nothing of the opportunity. 

Fouls seem to gain the largest cheers, though to be fair, they did seem to be the most prominent aspect of the game, with a resounding 30 combined fouls between the two teams. 

This sort of play provides a look at how even the wins do not feel earned when they come off of chance and a flung foot.

“To be honest I think the ball was played perfectly into my head and I just jumped, turned my head to the side and it went in. I guess I just don’t really think about it I guess,” Cougar striker Margie Detrizio said.

Frequently the Cougars show how much potential they have with a number of close calls and decent opportunities. However, they are so inconsistent that those opportunities left them with a 12% conversion rate for goals.

Out of 17 shots, the Cougars captured two goals: one in the 28th minute by Rieken, and the other by Detrizio during the 38th minute, allowing them to step into the second half with a solid lead.

Credit where credit is due, the Cougar defense was able to maintain a rather tight block on each opportunity that SU could have possibly had.

Unfortunately, coach Matt Kagan did not think that SU was up to the standards that the Cougars should be playing.

“This is an in-state game, in-state battle. I mean Seattle is playing the World Cup final for them,” Kagan said. 

The Cougars tend to pass the ball to one individual and hope that they can finesse their way into a goal, rather than working on any real plays or coordinating an attack from the wings. 

Something important to remember about a good game of soccer is that the score is not always a representation of good play. With the Cougars only slightly dominating SU in possession, that 12% should have been much higher.

Unfortunately, it appears that the coach is unaware of this aspect of the game focusing more on the score than the play itself.

“If we start getting shut out in games, I’ll start worrying,” Kagan said.

During the second half, the Cougars seemed to lose their headstrong style of play and change pace to show off the skill they actually have in store.

The Cougars seemed to find some footing in the 51st minute as they managed to make a number of passes and cleanly work the ball down the field. Despite the goals, this was some of their best work throughout the game and clearly showed that the women are a powerful group that can do damage if they can maintain that level of play.

The Cougars still play a very one-woman-for-the-ball sort of game. However, as they slow their motions and pick their heads back up, they seem to see the opportunities they have created and the chances available and remember they are a team.

These women have strong potential, but as their conversion rate would agree, they are only able to bring it out in 12% of their game. Once the team gets their communication and connection, they can make the plays and unleash the potential they have shown they have in store.

More to Discover
About the Contributors
PARKER R. SCHAFER, Evergreen columnist
Parker is a sophomore going into Public Relations. He is from Vancouver, Washington (Go Timbers!! Sounders suck). Parker started working for the Evergreen in fall of 2022 and has been an editor for the Evergreen Opinion section and is currently a copy editor. He loves to talk (a bit too much) and is always looking to learn more about anything. They have currently taken back up their role as the WSU swim beat writer and loves attending the meets! He is also fluent in Spanish and is always open to practicing and learning in whatever way he can..
MADDY RICE, Evergreen photographer
Maddy Rice is a photographer for the Daily Evergreen. Originally from White Center, Washington, she is a sophomore majoring in Business Managment, with a minor in Sports Managment. Maddy began working for the Daily Evergreen in the Fall of 2023.