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Cougs down Grizzlies

Haro notches two assists, Gomera-Stevens scores a pair as WSU improves to 6-0

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Cougs down Grizzlies

Freshman midfielder Ebony Clarke fights for the ball in the second half of the game against Montana on Friday night at the Lower Soccer Field.

Freshman midfielder Ebony Clarke fights for the ball in the second half of the game against Montana on Friday night at the Lower Soccer Field.

BENJAMIN MICHAELIS | THE DAILY EVERGREEN

Freshman midfielder Ebony Clarke fights for the ball in the second half of the game against Montana on Friday night at the Lower Soccer Field.

BENJAMIN MICHAELIS | THE DAILY EVERGREEN

BENJAMIN MICHAELIS | THE DAILY EVERGREEN

Freshman midfielder Ebony Clarke fights for the ball in the second half of the game against Montana on Friday night at the Lower Soccer Field.

DANI PARAMO, Evergreen reporter

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No. 16 WSU soccer defeated University of Montana 3-1 on a cold Friday night in Pullman. The Cougars improved to 6-0 and are now just one win away from equaling their best ever start to a season since 2015.

The Cougs scored early in the game and kept pressure on their opponents, preventing the visitors from any major chances until the second half. Both goals for WSU in the first half came courtesy of sophomore forward Makamae Gomera-Stevens, who lit up the right flank of the field all game.

Gomera-Stevens opened the scoring in just the second minute. She dribbled through the middle of the Montana defense and unleashed a curled shot from 20 yards out that sailed past the goalkeeper. The goal was her second of the season and the fastest goal scored by the Cougs since 2016.

Gomera-Stevens, however, did not stop there. The forward spent the next 30 minutes of the first half wreaking havoc on the visitors’ defense, running up and down the right side of the field with the ball and creating chances for her teammates and herself.

In the 34th minute, Gomera-Stevens struck again, this time receiving a cross from senior defender Maddy Haro. Gomera-Stevens took the ball into the middle of the pitch from the right again and fired a left-footed shot that flew to the far post to score her second goal of the evening.

Her two goals on the night drew her level with junior forward Morgan Weaver in goals this season, as both forwards lead the team with three each.

Haro also reached a milestone with her assist on the second goal, as she became the sole leader in the nation in the assist category with six so far.

Montana pulled a goal back in the second half, when a rare WSU defensive error gifted the ball to Montana sophomore forward Alexa Coyle. Coyle snuck a shot past WSU redshirt junior goalkeeper Rachel Thompson after juking freshman defender Mykiaa Minniss, narrowing the gap between the hosts and the Grizzlies.

The Cougs would restore their two-goal cushion just seven minutes later, as Haro delivered a signature assist from the corner to senior midfielder Maegan O’Neill for the second time in as many games. Haro’s second assist on the night tied her single season career best which was set in 2017.

O’Neill had previously combined with Haro in the 3-0 victory over the University of Idaho and scored against the Grizzlies in the exact same fashion, rocketing a header into the goal following Haro’s corner kick and sealing the victory for the Cougs.

WSU will play California Polytechnic State University 11 a.m. Sunday at the Lower Soccer Field in Pullman in the Cougars final non-conference game of the regular season

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