WSU wins tough battle in Nebraska

Cougars fight back from halftime deficit to take down Cornhuskers



Freshman defender Mykiaa Minniss heads the ball in off of a corner kick by senior defender Maddy Haro against Minnesota on Sunday at Elizabeth Lyle Robbie Stadium.

DANI PARAMO, Evergreen reporter

No. 18 WSU improved to 4-0 on the season after taking down the University of Nebraska on Friday in a comeback victory. The Cougs fell behind early as the Cornhuskers capitalized on a penalty kick, but the hosts would have their unbeaten streak snapped when WSU struck twice in the second half to win the game.

“I am super proud of this team. Nebraska is a great opponent with a unique style,” WSU Head Coach Todd Shulenberger said after the game. “Our team had a plan and credit to our girls for following through.”

The Cougs faced pressure in the opening minutes from the Cornhuskers which eventually led to the opening goal of the match. A late challenge in the box resulted in a penalty kick decision and Nebraska senior forward Savanah Uveges converted calmly from the spot.

The game’s opening goal came in the 22nd minute, ending WSU’s shutout streak of 281 minutes. It was also the first goal the Cougars conceded since the season opener against Seattle University.

Despite conceding early on, the Cougs defense stayed strong under the hosts’ constant pressure. WSU redshirt senior goalkeeper Ella Dederick came up with acrobatic saves multiple times in the first half to keep her team in the game.

The second half soon began, and the Cougs got back in the game about 10 minutes in. After a spell of possession, sophomore forward Elyse Bennett found the ball 25 yards from goal and released a strike that sailed past Nebraska junior goalkeeper Aubrei Corder.

WSU struck again 10 minutes later with the game winner from the foot of redshirt junior midfielder Alysha Overland. The visitors forced a turnover that sophomore midfielder Brianna Alger picked up near the Nebraska penalty area and her slotted pass found Overland open in space between three Cornhusker defenders.

Overland shot right under the goalie and sealed the victory for the Cougs. The goal was her first of the season and was the cherry on top of a great comeback as she was sidelined by a knee injury all of last season.

WSU was outshot 14-9 and out-possessed by the hosts for the duration of the match, but Dederick’s season-high six saves combined with the Cougs relentless pressure allowed the visitors to stay undefeated on the season.

The Cougs will be back on the field 7 p.m. Thursday against rival University of Idaho at the Lower Soccer Field in the first of three home games.