WSU soccer embodies university values


Senior forward Amy Neal and junior Sofia Anker-Kofoed battle for the ball against BYU.

Editor’s note: This is the second in a 10-part series featuring WSU athletic teams, student-athletes and events that best embody the Cougar spirit and represents the university.

With nearly 40 percent of its roster being named to Pac-12 All-Academic teams, the WSU Cougars soccer team can lay claim to the title “Harvard of the West”.

Redshirt senior defender Susie White and junior midfielder Sofia Anker-Kofoed led the way for the Cougars as they were named to the Pac-12 first and second All-Academic teams, respectively. White played in all 19 of the Cougars matches this fall and logged an assist, while Anker-Kofoed played in 17 and recorded four shots on goal.

In addition to these scholars of the soccer pitch, eight other Cougar players were named Pac-12 All-Academic honorable mention. Senior forward Kaitlyn Johnson, who was a key player for the WSU offense last season and dished out six assists to go along with three goals, also made the list of smarties. Junior defenders Kelsee Crenshaw and Jordan Branch, also named honorable mention, had three and two assists on the season, respectively.

Other Cougars named to the Pac-12 All-Academic honorable mention list include junior midfielder Chelsea Harkins, who had six shots on goal and played in all 19 WSU matches. Also on the list are sophomore defenders Grace Hancock, who had two shots on goal in 11 matches, and Maegan O’Neill, who had three shots on goal.

Sophomore midfielder Maddy Haro, who had four shots on goal, and redshirt sophomore starting goalkeeper Ella Dederick, who had three and a half shutouts and 58 saves, round out the list of intellects.

Among the values professed on the WSU website, the Cougar soccer team exemplifies quality, respect, excellence and accountability. They display quality in the classroom as well as respect for their teammates, coaches and families who support their educational and athletic endeavors. Excellence is another way to describe the academic performance of the Cougar soccer squad. The team exemplifies what it means to be a student-athlete at WSU.

The WSU soccer team could also be defined as accountable, meaning that their teammates and coaches can depend on them to perform well in the classroom and deliver solid grades. It is critical for a college team to be able to depend on its players to take care of business when it comes to getting good grades because if they slack off, it could become a distraction. Being accountable means that people do not have to constantly check up on you because the people around you know they can count on you, which is another way to describe WSU soccer.

The WSU Cougars may not have performed as well as they would have liked to on the pitch in 2016, finishing the season (8-9-2) and failing to win a match on the road, however, the Cougs played well in Pullman, finishing (8-3-1) at the Lower Soccer Field. In addition, WSU finished the year strong, going (2-0-1) in their final three matches and defeating their in-state rivals, the Washington Huskies, 2-0.

WSU is fortunate to have such driven ladies on and off the soccer field, and if there happened to be a puzzle-related activity from the show Survivor, I would bet on the Cougar soccer team to beat every other team in the Pac-12.

Chris Arneson is a senior sports management major from Bothell, Washington. He can be contacted at 335-2290 or by [email protected].