Soccer nets one point in first home conference matches

Senior+forward+Jocelyn+Jeffers+tussles+for+the+ball+with+an+Arizona+State+defender+on+the+Lower+Soccer+Field%2C+Sunday%2C+Oct.+12%2C+2014.+The+match+ended+in+a+0-0+tie.
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Soccer nets one point in first home conference matches

Senior forward Jocelyn Jeffers tussles for the ball with an Arizona State defender on the Lower Soccer Field, Sunday, Oct. 12, 2014. The match ended in a 0-0 tie.

Senior forward Jocelyn Jeffers tussles for the ball with an Arizona State defender on the Lower Soccer Field, Sunday, Oct. 12, 2014. The match ended in a 0-0 tie.

Senior forward Jocelyn Jeffers tussles for the ball with an Arizona State defender on the Lower Soccer Field, Sunday, Oct. 12, 2014. The match ended in a 0-0 tie.

Senior forward Jocelyn Jeffers tussles for the ball with an Arizona State defender on the Lower Soccer Field, Sunday, Oct. 12, 2014. The match ended in a 0-0 tie.

Ian Korzeniecki | Evergreen soccer reporter

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Washington State’s conference home opener was spoiled by an Arizona Wildcats team that quickly jumped ahead and did not look back. However, the Cougars got a positive result Sunday, as they tied the Arizona State Sun Devils.

Missed opportunities hurt the Cougars (7-2-3, 2-2-1) on Friday. The Wildcats (9-3-1, 3-2-0) jumped on top in the first half and the Cougars had no answer offensively to get back in the game.

The match started favorably for WSU. In the 14th minute, senior Jamie Schnieders received a ball from sophomore Kailiana Johnson. Schnieders found herself alone in the box and slotted the ball past Arizona’s freshman goalkeeper Gabby Kaufman. Kaufman dove left with no chance for the save, and the ball ended up in the back of the net.

“Jamie (Schnieders) would take it back if we could get the win,” Head Coach Steve Nugent said. “This was not the performance we were looking for after being on the road for so long, despite the great performance by the fans. We really started out well. The first 25 minutes we controlled the game, we had the ball and we were playing our style. We scored a goal from it.”

From there it was all Wildcats. Arizona’s senior forward Alexandra Dollar was a goal shy of a hat trick. In the 26th minute, Dollar scored over the head of senior goalkeeper Gurveen Clair with a ball that had height and speed.

“We haven’t pulled out a win versus Washington State in a long time so it feels good to get the win,” Dollar said in an interview with Pac-12 Networks. “Washington State came out really tough, but we were able to get our confidence back.”

The game was tied when Arizona scored two goals in three minutes, which took the air out of the Lower Soccer Field.

Shortly after half, Arizona added a fourth goal and padded their lead. The Cougars had no answer, falling to the Wildcats 4-1.

“Push it, push it, push it, play fast,” Clair yelled to her teammates after falling behind. The Cougars played hard, but found few bounces going their way.

This game marked the first time WSU had been down by more than one goal in a match all season.

“I liked their attitude to fight back,” Nugent said when asked about trailing for most of the game. “At 2-1 they fought back, at 3-1 they fought back, even 4-1 down they were still fighting at the end. They were pressing and still trying to win corner kicks. I am proud of them for putting in all of those minutes and all of that effort, despite the result today.”

Washington State went into Sunday’s match with a high spirit, knowing they had to get a result at home versus No. 19 Arizona State (8-2-4, 1-1-3).

Despite outshooting ASU 19-11 and receiving 16 corner kicks, the Cougars could not capitalize on the numerous chances in front of the Sun Devil goal.

The game went into overtime and ended in a 0-0 draw.

“We called their keeper into duty to make dramatic saves,” Nugent said. “Coming off a disappointing loss Friday, to turn it around that quickly and play as well as we did makes me proud of our team. It shows the character of our team.”

One of the Cougs chances came in the 54th minute when senior Jocelyn Jeffers put a dangerous header on frame, but ASU’s redshirt sophomore goalkeeper Chandler Morris tipped the ball over the crossbar.

The Cougars’ next game is at home against Oregon at 1 p.m. next Sunday and can be seen on the Pac-12 Networks.