Soccer gets Halloween treat

Weaver scores twice, Lynch gets her first goal, Bennett gets fifth goal of season in WSU victory

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Soccer gets Halloween treat

Junior defender Brianna Alger goes after the ball against Utah on Thursday night at the Lower Soccer Field.

Junior defender Brianna Alger goes after the ball against Utah on Thursday night at the Lower Soccer Field.

SERENA HOFDAHL

Junior defender Brianna Alger goes after the ball against Utah on Thursday night at the Lower Soccer Field.

SERENA HOFDAHL

SERENA HOFDAHL

Junior defender Brianna Alger goes after the ball against Utah on Thursday night at the Lower Soccer Field.

JACLYN SEIFERT, Evergreen reporter

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With 13 shots and eight corner kicks, the WSU soccer team brought a unique energy and grit to the field against the University of Utah on Thursday night.

The Cougars played their second to last home game of their regular season, celebrating Halloween with a 4-1 win on the Lower Soccer Field.

“It’s Coug soccer, and we’re back,” senior forward Morgan Weaver said.

Twenty Cougar soccer players saw playing time as the coaching staff made nine substitutions during the game. Freshman forward Grayson Lynch, junior forward Elyse Bennett and Weaver all scored for their team.

Weaver had two goals in the match and an assist, moving her overall season record to seven goals scored. She had not scored for the Cougars (10-5-1, 3-4-1) in her last 10 appearances.

“It has been a while since I have been on the board, but I think the team was the biggest reason I got those two goals. I mean they have not stopped believing in me,” Weaver said.

Five minutes into the match, Weaver found the ball at the right time on her right foot after she was unmarked near the top of the penalty spot. She comfortably placed the ball to the left side of the net past the Utes (6-7-1,1-4-3) goalkeeper. This was Weaver’s sixth goal of the season.

“It happens,” head coach Todd Shulenberger said. “Big time players go through a little bit of adversity, little bit of a slump sometimes.”

In the 34th minute, freshman forward Grayson Lynch celebrated her first collegiate goal of her career on a one touch finish. The goal was assisted by junior forward Makamae Gomera-Stevens after she dribbled around the Utah defense looking for a shot. Then, the Castle Rock, Colorado forward was in front of goal tapping the ball in making the score 2-0.

“It means the world … and it was great to have my teammates there. I just made the run and couldn’t really believe it that it went in the back of the net,” Lynch said.

In the second half, the Utes did not give the Cougars a shutout and pressed the WSU defense. Senior forward Ireland Dunn scored for her team after a miscommunication in the Cougar defense making the score 2-1.

Redshirt senior midfielder Shayna Whieldon said her team has had a tough couple of last games not scoring, but this win was meaningful to her.

“What could potentially be our last three games is a big deal so that’s great,” Whieldon said. “I have been here five years so it is weird to feel that this could be it, but it will be exciting for sure.”

Minutes after the miscommunication, Weaver set junior forward Elyse Bennett up for an assist down the field for a break away. It was only Bennett and the Utes senior goalkeeper Carly Nelson as Bennett sent the ball over Nelson’s head. This was Bennett’s fifth goal of the season.

From a similar breakaway to Bennett’s in the 66th minute, Weaver dribbled around four Utah defenders to score her seventh goal of the season. The goal was assisted by sophomore forward Molly Myers.

After a 4-1 lead, Washington State made a goalkeeper substitution in the 76th minute, where senior goalkeeper Rachel Johnson the spotlight. This was her first appearance since Sept. 1.

“Tonight, needed to count, for post season reasons so they stepped up and did a good job,” head coach Todd Shulenberger said after the game.

Six seniors will be recognized at noon on Sunday in their last home match of the season against the Univeristy of Colorado on the lower soccer field. The game can be viewed on the WSU live stream.

“It is pretty crazy just because it has been such a long journey, but I am excited to go in with all the other seniors and beat Colorado,” senior forward Katie Jones said.