WSU to compete against San Diego State

The two teams face off for the first time since 1996, Aztecs are 3-1 all-time against the Cougars

Then+sophomore+forward+Elyse+Bennett+fights+for+the+ball+with+Grand+Canyon+University+then+sophomore+midfield%2Fdefender+Mikaela+McGee+during+a+game+at+the+Lower+Soccer+Field+on+Aug+19%2C+2018.+Bennett+started+in+14+games+during+the+2018+season+before+suffering+a+season-ending+injury+in+the+game+against+Arizona+State+Univeristy+on+Oct.+18%2C+2018.
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WSU to compete against San Diego State

Then sophomore forward Elyse Bennett fights for the ball with Grand Canyon University then sophomore midfield/defender Mikaela McGee during a game at the Lower Soccer Field on Aug 19, 2018. Bennett started in 14 games during the 2018 season before suffering a season-ending injury in the game against Arizona State Univeristy on Oct. 18, 2018.

Then sophomore forward Elyse Bennett fights for the ball with Grand Canyon University then sophomore midfield/defender Mikaela McGee during a game at the Lower Soccer Field on Aug 19, 2018. Bennett started in 14 games during the 2018 season before suffering a season-ending injury in the game against Arizona State Univeristy on Oct. 18, 2018.

OLIVER MCKENNA | DAILY EVERGREEN FILE

Then sophomore forward Elyse Bennett fights for the ball with Grand Canyon University then sophomore midfield/defender Mikaela McGee during a game at the Lower Soccer Field on Aug 19, 2018. Bennett started in 14 games during the 2018 season before suffering a season-ending injury in the game against Arizona State Univeristy on Oct. 18, 2018.

OLIVER MCKENNA | DAILY EVERGREEN FILE

OLIVER MCKENNA | DAILY EVERGREEN FILE

Then sophomore forward Elyse Bennett fights for the ball with Grand Canyon University then sophomore midfield/defender Mikaela McGee during a game at the Lower Soccer Field on Aug 19, 2018. Bennett started in 14 games during the 2018 season before suffering a season-ending injury in the game against Arizona State Univeristy on Oct. 18, 2018.

JAKOB THORINGTON, Evergreen reporter

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WSU women’s soccer will begin play with an exhibition game against the San Diego State Aztecs 7 p.m. Friday in San Diego, California.

Head Coach Todd Shulenberger will enter his fifth season as the women’s head soccer coach with three winning seasons and tournament appearances.

Last season, the Cougars finished 13-6-1 and 5-5-1 in the conference. They were once ranked No. 7 in the nation for an all-time best in the program history. Their season ended in the second round of the NCAA tournament where they lost to then-ranked No. 1 Georgetown.

OLIVER MCKENNA | DAILY EVERGREEN FILE
Then junior forward Morgan Weaver attempts to evade Grand Canyon University then junior defender Fiona Samodurov during a game at the Lower Soccer Field on Aug. 19, 2018. Weaver is returning to WSU this season and is the first player in WSU history to be named to the preseason watch list for the Missouri Athletic Club’s Hermann Trophy, awarded to the United Soccer Coaches National Player of the Year.

On the field, the Cougars will be led by senior forward Morgan Weaver. She is the first player in WSU history to be named to the preseason watch list for the Missouri Athletic Club’s Hermann Trophy, awarded to the United Soccer Coaches National Player of the Year.

Weaver led the team with 13 goals last season and is tied for fourth in program history. She is one of seven returning starters for the Cougars from last season.

On Oct. 18, junior forward Elyse Bennett suffered a season-ending injury against Arizona State University. Before her injury, she started in 14 games and scored three goals. Bennett scored a game-winning goal against Seattle University and the game-tying goal against the University of Nebraska. Against the University of Oregon, she scored the first goal of the game and WSU went on to win 2-1.

Sophomore defender Mykiaa Minniss also returns as she comes off her freshman year where she earned All-Freshman conference honors. She started in 19 games and never played less than 82 minutes. Minniss was named to TopDrawerSoccer’s Freshmen Best XI First Team and ranked a No. 10 on the Top 100 Freshman list.

The Aztecs come into the season led by head coach Mike Friesen. In his now 13-season tenure, he has become the winningest head coach in program history. The Aztecs finished last season at 12-8-2 and lost to No. 4 UCLA in the first round of the NCAA tournament.

San Diego State’s junior midfielder Chloe Frisch returns after leading her team with 43 shots last season. Out of those shots, 20 of them were on goal and she scored two goals. Four Aztecs shared the team-high of three goals all season and all of them are returning players this year.

This will be the first time the Cougars face-off against the Aztecs since 1996 where WSU won 2-1 in Pullman. The Cougars are 1-3 against the Aztecs.

The Cougars will face off against the San Diego State Aztecs at 7 p.m. on Friday in San Diego, California.

BENJAMIN MICHAELIS | DAILY EVERGREEN FILE
Then freshman defender Mykiaa Minniss attempts to clear the ball from WSU’s side during the game against the University of Oregon at the Lower Soccer Field on Sept 27, 2018. Minniss started in 19 games and earned Pac-12 All-Freshman Honors.