Soccer hosts spring exhibition game against Eastern Washington

From staff reports

The Cougars will take to the Lower Soccer Field for the first time since being knocked out of the NCAA tournament in the first-round as they host Eastern Washington University in an exhibition game on Saturday.

WSU Head Coach Todd Shulenberger is heading into the game with the same mindset as if it were a regular season game, even though the lineups will be more fluid.

“I never change,” Shulenberger said. “If I go out there with the attitude of ‘It’s just a spring game’ then that sets the wrong example because of how hard they’re working. So absolutely I’ll be up doing what I usually do without a doubt.”

Shulenberger will field a side that is without Kourtney Guetlein, Beau Bremer, Cara Wegner and Isabel Neyman, who will all graduate this spring. The second-year coach returns redshirt seniors Susie White and Jazmin Jones, in addition to seniors Nicolle Marlow, Kailiana Johnson and Kaitlyn Johnson who all saw significant minutes last season.

Freshman midfielder Tarah Patterson is the only freshman with the team heading into the spring. As a result, Shulenberger will play with his lineup over the four exhibition games the Cougars’ will play this spring.

“First of all, spring is all about growth and development,” Shulenberger said. “We plan on playing numerous players and seeing how their growth and development is taking place. We have the same mentality we play every game with, we’re in the Pac-12, so every moment we step on the field we plan and hope to make the game competitive.

“And the objective should be to win. But keep in mind normal rotations will be different throughout the spring so we give other kids time to grow and develop,” he said.

WSU and EWU kickoff at 1 p.m. on Saturday at Lower Soccer Field. It will be the first meeting between the two programs since the Cougars defeated the Eagles 3-1 in an exhibition to open the 2015 season.

Reporting by Lars Hanson