Undefeated Cougs host Oregon

Never before has WSU started its season 8-0, held top-10 ranking in United Soccer Coaches poll



Senior defender Maddy Haro kicks the ball forward in a game against University of Idaho on Sept. 6 at the Lower Soccer Field.

JACKSON GARDNER, Evergreen reporter

The undefeated No. 9 Cougars (8-0) look to continue their historic start to the season as they return to the Lower Soccer Field to host the University of Oregon on Thursday night.

Currently the Cougars sit atop of the nation with Boston College as the only two Division I schools who have yet to surrender a loss or a tie.

After returning from Los Angeles with a 1-0 win against then-No. 8 University of California, Los Angeles, in one hand and a top-10 ranking from the United Soccer Coaches poll — the first in program history — in the other, the players in Head Coach Todd Shulenberger’s camp are trying to keep a level head about it.

“It feels good, it’s a number for us right now and that’s how were playing it,” Shulenberger said. “We beat UCLA last year — they’re a fantastic team — we beat them again this year and we finished sixth of seventh in the conference [last year], that’s just not good enough, so we’re hungry and we got a chip on our shoulder.”

Similar to WSU, Oregon enters the match after a 1-0 win to open up its conference portion of the schedule. The Ducks’ win came against the University of Utah at home in Eugene.

The Ducks’ leading goal-scorer, senior striker Marissa Everett, headed in the game’s lone goal in the 88th minute to push her side across the finish line and capture a win in their conference-opener.

The Cougars’ back line will have its hands full with Everett as well as junior attacking midfielder Emma Eddy. The two have combined to score nine of the 13 goals the Ducks have netted this season.

“We’re really excited to get back,” Shulenberger said. “I mean Oregon has always been a great team. I think [Oregon Head Coach Kat Mertz] and her staff has done a great job, they’ve been hungry, they’re starting to get over that edge and they’re winning now … It will be a great Pac-12 game, but you know what? This team is hungry and we’re looking forward to it.”

The Cougars hold the all-time record against Oregon at 12-4-6, with 27 goals for to just 19 against.

The match is scheduled to kick off at 7 p.m. Thursday and will be televised on Pac-12 Networks.