PULLMAN, Wash. — In the year's first road contest, the Saint Mary's women's soccer team displayed a solid performance on both sides of the field, but an unfortunate penalty kick in the first half gave Washington State the close 1-0 home victory Friday afternoon.
The Gaels now have an overall record, 1-2-0, while the Cougars move to 1-0-1 on the season.
The majority of the first half was a defensive showdown, as neither team could get a golden chance at goal. The Gaels created chances in the early moments of the half, and finished the opening 45 with three shots. The Cougars fired off four, with two shots finding the frame.
Trailing 1-0, the youthful Gaels pushed the attack from the get go, as Jaylen Crim fired a left-footed shot that was saved by the Cougars keeper, Ella Dederick. In the 53rd minute, SMC had its best shot of the day, as Anyssa Dominguez fired from outside the 18 yard box, but hit the crossbar.
WSU had a great opportunity to pull ahead by two goals, but sophomore keeper Sarah Sawatzky cut off the angle and executed a great save to keep the deficit at one goal with 15 minutes left in the game.
- Washington State (1-0): The Cougars struck first in the 28th minute off a penalty kick into the bottom left corner by Sydney Puliver.
THOUGHTS FROM TRAVIS CLARKE
- “We fought hard against a quality, top-30 opponent. It is unfortunate for a game as tight as that to be decided on a penalty kick, but I am confident the team will rebound and react well.”
- “The team generated several good scoring chances and there is a lot to build on for this young squad.”
- Last meeting versus Pac-12 program was Sept. 9, 2016 (vs. Cal, W, 2-0).
- First meeting versus WSU since Aug. 31, 2001 (W, 3-2 in Las Vegas).
- The Cougars received five votes in the latest NSCAA rankings.
- The Gaels started the match with six underclassmen (Sawatzky, Crim, Jordyn Cunningham, Anna Parker, Kelsey Hill and Vanessa Gaitan).
- Sophomore defender, Parker got her first start of the season.
- SMC played a total of 17 players, with 11 being first or second year players.
- Sawatzky recorded another three save performance.
- Shot total in second half was equal, 6-6.
- Gaels committed just three fouls compared to 15 by Cougars.
UP NEXT: IDAHO
Saint Mary's will head just 10 miles east to face Idaho on Sunday, Aug. 27. Kickoff versus the Vandals is set for 12 p.m. Live stats can be found HERE. Viewers can watch the match via the Big Sky network HERE.
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