Cougars draw with Sun Devils

Team did not score a goal, though they had many opportunities

Senior forward Morgan Weaver kicks the ball past Arizona defenders Thursday night at the Lower Soccer Field.

HSING-HAN CHEN

Senior forward Morgan Weaver kicks the ball past Arizona defenders Thursday night at the Lower Soccer Field.

JACLYN SEIFERT, Evergreen reporter

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The story seemed too similar to Thursday’s loss for No. 15 Washington State as they settled with a 0-0 tie in overtime against the Arizona State Sun Devils for a cloudy match Sunday afternoon on the Lower Soccer Field.

“We have just got to score. That’s what we have to figure out,” said sophomore defender Kelis Barton.

The Cougars battled from start to finish against the Sun Devils with an advantage in height and aggression. Despite outshooting the Sun Devils with 27 shots to four shots, WSU could not get a goal in the back of the net against Arizona State.

Head coach Todd Shulenberger said his team plans to flush the tie, move on, and get back to work on Tuesday.

“The reality of it is that we just didn’t score today. That ultimately falls back on me, the head coach, and it falls on the players that needed to put themselves in better spots and feel more comfortable,” Shulenberger said after the match.

Shulenberger said he would rather have the problem of not scoring now rather than later.

“It is something that just happens in the game of soccer, and it will get worked on. We will keep plugging away and keep positive. That’s all we can do,” Shulenberger said.

Last year the Sun Devils (6-5-3, 0-3-2) brought the heat against the Cougars (9-3-1, 2-2-1) in Tempe, Arizona, taking home a 3-1 win.

Three Cougar starters suffered injuries in Tempe. This included two ACL injuries that ended the season for junior forward Elyse Bennett and junior defender Aaqila McLyn.

WSU has an all-time record against Arizona State of 10-13-2.

The Cougars were looking for a win after suffering their sixth-straight loss against the University of Arizona, despite dominating the field.

Four minutes into overtime, WSU sophomore defender Mykiaa Minniss received a red card after a tough tackle and argument with ASU sophomore forward Nicole Douglas. Douglas received a yellow card.

In the last 10 seconds of regular play, senior forward Morgan Weaver just missed the back of the net sending the ball outside to the back post to get one on the board for the Cougars. Weaver, who is the Cougars leading scorer, had 16 chances to score but could not get one in.

The Sun Devils tested graduate student goalkeeper Ella Dederick immediately, in the first 30 seconds of play, for a save after a break away that forced her to come off her backline.

Dederick said moving forward she plans to encourage her teammates to keep going.

“I mean there is nothing you can really do. We tied, we didn’t lose … and we kept a shutout,” Dederick said.

Dederick became the all-time leader in minutes played per game for WSU only 23 minutes into the match against the Sun Devils. She also recently became the all-leader in wins with 46 in her career and moved to third in all-time saves with 269 for WSU.

By the end of the first half, head coach Todd Shulenberger and his staff substituted seven players, over half of the starting lineup.

Wearing their bright pink jerseys in support of breast cancer awareness, WSU had a notable pair of three shots on goal in the first ten minutes.

Junior defender Brianna Alger, with only three minutes left in the first half, had an impressive break away crossing over the ball and then faking right to dribble around an Arizona State midfielder.

The Pac-12 recognized Alger, who recently changed her position from forward to a left defender, twice as the Pac-12 defensive player of the week this season.

The second half was almost identical to the first. The Cougars dominated offensively, despite not scoring.

“I think it’s a big learning opportunity for us. One thing we are really good at is bouncing back and I think that is something we have always held our heart to,” Barton said. “I think a lot of technical shooting. I think we are all starting to realize where our weaknesses are personally, individually and as a team.”

She said her team will score goals again from building their connection back off the field and being there for each other.

“I honestly think we are on a positive note. It sucks not getting a great result but we’re going to be fine,” Barton said.

WSU will continue play against Oregon at 7 p.m. on Saturday at Pape Field in Eugene, Oregon.