The Daily Evergreen

Cougs hit road for first time this season

Soccer looks to remain undefeated as WSU heads to Minnesota to battle a pair of Big Ten teams

Sophomore+midfielder+Sydney+Pulver+kicks+the+ball+downfield+while+evading+multiple+GCU+players+during+a+match+Sunday+at+the+Lower+Soccer+Field.+Pulver+has+three+shots+on+goal+in+132+minutes+of+action+so+far+this+season.
Sophomore midfielder Sydney Pulver kicks the ball downfield while evading multiple GCU players during a match Sunday at the Lower Soccer Field. Pulver has three shots on goal in 132 minutes of action so far this season.

Sophomore midfielder Sydney Pulver kicks the ball downfield while evading multiple GCU players during a match Sunday at the Lower Soccer Field. Pulver has three shots on goal in 132 minutes of action so far this season.

OLIVER MCKENNA | DAILY EVERGREEN FILE

OLIVER MCKENNA | DAILY EVERGREEN FILE

Sophomore midfielder Sydney Pulver kicks the ball downfield while evading multiple GCU players during a match Sunday at the Lower Soccer Field. Pulver has three shots on goal in 132 minutes of action so far this season.

DANI PARAMO, Evergreen reporter

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No. 22 WSU soccer (2-0) will travel to Minneapolis to play University of Iowa (1-0-1) on Friday before facing hosts University of Minnesota (2-0) on Sunday. This will be the first-ever meeting between the Cougs and Iowa. However, WSU did face against then-ranked No. 19 Minnesota in last season’s home opener.

WSU Head Coach Todd Shulenberger said he wants his team to continue to be aggressive despite heading into hostile territory.

“We want to keep being an offensive threat while also keeping a scoreless sheet on the defensive side,” Shulenberger said. “Going on the road doesn’t scare me. It’s going to be a tough game as every game is, but we’ll be prepared.”

The Cougs opened the regular season with two home wins against Seattle University and Grand Canyon University, with the latter match staying scoreless until WSU scored in the second minute of overtime to win the game.

WSU and Iowa’s first ever meeting will take place at a neutral site in Minnesota’s Elizabeth Lyle Robbie Stadium. The Hawkeyes opened their season with a scoreless draw against University of Missouri before downing Creighton University with two goals for their first victory this season.

While the Cougs have never played Iowa, the Hawkeyes are no strangers to Pac-12 competition. This game will mark the second time in just three seasons that Iowa faces a Pac-12 opponent, with its last match being against the University of Colorado, who defeated the Hawkeyes 4-1 in 2016.

For the second game of the weekend, the Cougars will play against host Minnesota. The Gophers played two preseason games to Cougars one and, like WSU, remain undefeated thus far.

Minnesota has not yet played at home, having played two games in Utah, against University of Utah and Utah State University. The Gophers won both encounters with 1-0 and 2-1 score lines respectively.

WSU and Minnesota last faced off at the Lower Soccer Field in Pullman this past season, where they tied 0-0 after a long, drawn out game that finished after double overtime. This time around, the Cougars will be hoping for junior forward Morgan Weaver to lead the offense.

Defensively, the Cougs will want to keep their opponents from scoring, a fact to which Shulenberger alluded. Under the leadership of senior defender Maddy Haro, who was named Pac-12’s Defensive Player of the Week after tallying three assists last weekend, WSU only allowed GCU two total shots across 93 minutes of soccer.

WSU kicks off at 9 a.m. Friday against Iowa before playing Minnesota 11 a.m. Sunday. Both games will be played at Minnesota’s Elizabeth Lyle Robbie Stadium in Minneapolis.

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Cougs hit road for first time this season