Soccer shutout for second straight game


Courtesy WSU Athletic Communications

Junior defender Grace Hancock sprints away as California sophomore forward Abi Kim eyes the ball.

RYAN BLAKE, Evergreen reporter

WSU soccer (7-5-2, 2-4) closed out its road trip with a 0-2 loss to No. 18 University of California, Berkley (11-2-1, 4-1-1) at Edwards Stadium.

The Golden Bears got out to an early lead in the sixth minute with a goal from junior forward Miranda Nild. Freshman midfielder Luca Deza flicked a pass that found Nild at the top of the box. Nild beat the Cougar defense before shooting off the near post and into the back of the net.

Despite the early deficit, the Cougars created offensive looks throughout the first half. WSU outshot Cal 5-4 and held a 3-0 advantage on corner kicks. The Cougs nearly leveled the game on a couple of occasions.

Former Pac-12 Goalkeeper of the Year, California senior Emily Boyd out of Seattle, thwarted a 34th minute attempt from WSU freshman forward Makamae Gomera-Stevens that nearly found the back post. Gomera-Stevens had another attempt in the 42nd minute, deflecting off the post with time winding down in the first half.

California doubled its lead in the 72nd minute with a goal from sophomore forward Kayla Fong. Sophomore defender Maggie Bell delivered a cross to Fong in the box, who turned and buried the ball in the net.

The Golden Bears dominated possession throughout the second half, outshooting WSU 9-6. In addition to its goal, California produced a number of scoring opportunities that narrowly missed or were saved by redshirt junior goalkeeper Ella Dederick.

WSU attempted to even the score in the waning minutes, but California’s backline stood their ground and kept the Cougars from making shots on target.

The shutout was the sixth in eight games and third in a row for the Golden Bears, their longest streak since 2015. It was the 34th recorded shutout for Boyd, who moved into a three-way tie for fourth most in Pac-12 history.

WSU is now 2-2-1 against top-25 teams. The loss against Cal was the first road game against a top-25 opponent.

The Cougars return to Pullman for another Pac-12 matchup this week to jumpstart their final home stand of the season. WSU takes on University of California, Los Angeles at 7 p.m. Thursday evening.

Reporting by Ryan Blake