Cougars, Utah Utes kick off on Halloween

Soccer looks to get back in Top 25 as season reaches end

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Cougars, Utah Utes kick off on Halloween

Sophomore defender Mykiaa Minniss defends the ball from Montana sophomore midfielder Zoe Transtrum during the game against University of Montana on Aug. 30 at the Lower Soccer Field.

Sophomore defender Mykiaa Minniss defends the ball from Montana sophomore midfielder Zoe Transtrum during the game against University of Montana on Aug. 30 at the Lower Soccer Field.

SERENA HOFDAHL | DAILY EVERGREEN FILE

Sophomore defender Mykiaa Minniss defends the ball from Montana sophomore midfielder Zoe Transtrum during the game against University of Montana on Aug. 30 at the Lower Soccer Field.

SERENA HOFDAHL | DAILY EVERGREEN FILE

SERENA HOFDAHL | DAILY EVERGREEN FILE

Sophomore defender Mykiaa Minniss defends the ball from Montana sophomore midfielder Zoe Transtrum during the game against University of Montana on Aug. 30 at the Lower Soccer Field.

JACLYN SEIFERT, Evergreen reporter

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WSU soccer will play the University of Utah Utes in their second-to-last home game of the regular season at 7 p.m. on Thursday on the Lower Soccer Field.

“It’s crunch time, getting into the tournament is a goal and these last few games, especially Utah, is a big game for us that we have to get a good result in,” redshirt senior goalkeeper Rachel Johnson said.

WSU (10-5-1, 3-4-1) most recently dropped off the Top-25 United Soccer coaches and SoccerAmerica polls but remains ranked No. 23 on TopDrawerSoccer.

The Cougars have an all-time record of 6-8-1 against Utah. The last time the Cougars played the Utes (6-7-4, 1-4-3) was in Salt Lake City a year ago, taking home a 1-0 loss in overtime.

In 2019, WSU has committed 168 fouls while Utah has only committed 119. Both the Utes have allowed 20 goals this season, like the Cougars 19 goals allowed in the back of the net. WSU has scored 28 goals this season. Utah has scored 15.

WSU had back-to-back losses falling 3-0 against No. 7 USC and 2-1 against No. 18 UCLA, despite a 1-0 lead at halftime.

“We were so close against UCLA,” redshirt sophomore midfielder Marin Auth said. “I think we played pretty well. We had a lot of position and obviously we had a lot of chances to have won that game.”

Auth said she is proud of her team this season of balancing the wins and the losses.

“Obviously we are not going to win every game, but to be able to bounce back from some of those games is really important, so I think we learned a lot from last year in that aspect,” Auth said.

Last season the Cougars won their first 10 games before losing five in a row.

“We have not been winning, but I do not think we are in a bad place at the same time, so I think we will do fine because we know the stakes are high to get into the tournament,” junior defender Brianna Alger said.

After their game against Washington on Nov. 8, the Cougars will find out if they will play in the NCAA tournament.

“It is kind of bittersweet knowing that I am never going to play soccer again after this season, but it’s been fun, this group of is amazing, just the lifelong friends you make and the experiences we have are really good,” Johnson said.

WSU begins play against the University of Utah at 7 p.m. on Thursday at the Lower Soccer Field. The Utah game can be viewed on the Pac-12 network.