Cougar Soccer heads to Hawaii

WSU seeks to finish non-conference schedule with road wins, team has scored 20 goals throughout season



Graduate midfielder Averie Collins works to take control of the ball against Jordan Robinson, Loyola Marymount redshirt freshman defender, on Sunday at the Lower Soccer Field. The Cougars will play Hawai’i at 10 p.m. Thursday in the Rainbow Wahine Shootout.

JACLYN SEIFERT, Evergreen reporter

The WSU Cougars soccer team will play the University of Hawai’i and Pepperdine in the Rainbow Wahine Shootout starting Thursday in Honolulu, Hawaii.

No. 24 WSU (5-1-0) dropped 11 spots after the University of Michigan defeated them last weekend.

“I think when we gave up that one goal, heads started to drop so I just try to tell people to pick their head up and just staying positive,” said junior forward Elyse Bennett.

The games against Hawai’i and Pepperdine are the last two matches before WSU heads into Pac-12 play.

Bennett said she is looking forward to heading to the islands this weekend but understands that it is for soccer.

“It will be a good trip for us, and I think it will be a good test,” Bennett said.

The Cougars will face the University of Hawai’i (2-4-1) first. Since 1995, WSU has a 5-0-0 record against the team. The last time the teams played each other was 2014, and WSU won 3-1. Hawai’i is on a two-game losing streak.

They will also play the Pepperdine Waves (3-3-1), who recently ended their three-game losing streak with an upset 1-0 win against No. 2 Stanford, despite being outshot 22-3. The Waves are on a two-game winning streak.

WSU last played Pepperdine in 2014, which ended with a 0-0 tie. They are 2-2-1 all-time against the Waves. This will be the third time the two teams have played in Hawaii.

Head coach Todd Shulenberger said he is looking to improve the team’s possession before heading into the Pac-12 part of the season.

“We want to get two wins going into conference play. Non-conference is tough, but we have played a wide variety so far,” Shulenberger said.

The Cougars scored 20 goals in the last six games and averaged 3.33 goals per game. WSU allowed their opponents to score six goals this season from 44 shots with 17 being on goal.

Bennett said offensively her team hopes and plans to score more goals heading into this weekend. They started the season strong but knew it wasn’t realistic in Pac-12 play to score five or more goals per game, she said.

“So just putting one or two away in games will probably be enough and having our defense keep doing what they’re doing,” Bennett said.

The Cougars will play Hawai’i at 10 p.m. Thursday at the Waipio Peninsula Soccer Complex. WSU plays Pepperdine at 4 p.m. Sunday.