Cougars tame Mustangs

No. 16 WSU won 4-1 to finish non-conference matches undefeated



Junior forward Morgan Weaver battles for the ball against Cal Poly freshman defender Emily Talmi at the game Sunday at the Lower Soccer Field.

DANI PARAMO, Evergreen reporter

No. 16 WSU soccer came away from the weekend with another win after taking down California Polytechnic State University 4-1 Sunday.

WSU Head Coach Todd Shulenberger said the win gave them important momentum for upcoming Pac-12 matches.

“It means a lot, we wanted to go out with a lot of momentum,” Shulenberger said, “The pac-12 is the greatest women’s soccer conference in America, we knew we had to … make a statement.”

The Cougs improved to 7-0 this season as they concluded non-conference play ahead of their Pac-12 opener against No. 2 University of California, Los Angeles, on Friday.

In WSU’s victory over University of Montana on Friday, the Cougars scored early on and held the visitors to a mere seven shots. That storyline carried over to the Cougs’ game against Cal Poly (0-6-3) as the hosts were first on the board thanks to sophomore midfielder Brianna Alger. Alger scored her first of the season following a solo run by sophomore forward Makamae Gomera-Stevens whose cross found Alger in the 6-yard box.

The hosts’ pressure continued and just four minutes later sophomore midfielder Sydney Pulver found junior forward Morgan Weaver unmarked on the edge of the penalty area. Weaver calmly slotted a low left-footed shot under Cal Poly junior goalie Sophia Brown to make it 2-0 in favor of the Cougs.

Soon after, the game settled down as WSU slowed the pace of its possession, content to keep the ball and press forward only when the opportunity was clear.

One such chance came in the 36th minute, when two Cougar forwards shared an effective passing give and go. Redshirt junior Alysha Overland and freshman Molly Myers combined 30 yards from goal and Myers’ final pass to Overland allowed her to fire a shot into the side net of Cal Poly’s goal.

Overland’s goal was her first of the season, while Myers notched her first career assist.

The visiting Mustangs bit back with a long-range goal to open up the second half, as sophomore midfielder Grace Park unleashed a shot from nearly 30 yards that just barely beat WSU redshirt junior goalkeeper Rachel Thompson.

Bolstered by the goal, the visitors began to look for more chances and they were able to contest the Cougs for possession. The fouls also began to mount as the game heated up between the two teams.

WSU would have the last word in the end though. In the 64th minute, senior defender Maddy Haro picked up her eighth assist of the season during a trick play on a free kick when she passed to a wide-open Weaver. Weaver ran on to Haro’s pass and fired the ball directly into Cal Poly’s net.

Weaver’s second goal of the day was decisive in the game, as it all but stifled the Mustangs for the remainder of the contest. The forward’s second score also put her into a tie for eighth in the WSU record books for career goals with 20.

WSU will return to the pitch 8 p.m. Friday to face UCLA in Los Angeles. The game will also be broadcast live on Pac-12 Networks.