The Washington State Cougars are headed to their first ever College Cup after an overtime winner from defender Mykiaa Minniss in the 96th minute bested the South Carolina Gamecocks, 1-0. Minniss was able to smash the match’s only goal into the roof of the net on a corner kick following a Gamecock defender’s header right to the sophomore’s foot for the opportunity.
In college soccer, “sudden victory” or golden goal applies in overtime, so that was all WSU needed to advance. Here’s your highlight:
WSU dominated possession and generated the better chances for most of the match. The Cougs saw an open first half shot go wide from directly in front of the net, and they saw a second half chance with an undefended far post go wide of the near post. There was also a 50th minute header that took a diving Gamecock save. Forward Morgan Weaver was her normal disruptive self, using speed and skill to push WSU deep into the South Carolina defense and creating havoc.
So many times this season, the Cougs have failed to get a winning result from matches they thoroughly controlled. For the final 10 minutes of regulation, it seemed that would happen again, as South Carolina was able to grab the run of play and garner a few frightening chances of their own.
The final whistle of the second half came at the perfect time, as WSU’s players looked gassed. The Cougs play a pressing style, leaving no pass unchallenged. The break between regulation and overtime seemed to be just what they needed to catch their collective breath.
Both teams tallied 15 shots, with the Cougs sending four of those on goal to South Carolina’s two. WSU goalkeeper Ella Dederick saved both of her opportunities.
Washington State is now one of just four teams left, two wins away from a national championship. The College Cup—the final two rounds of the tournament—will be held in San Jose. The Cougs will see the pitch next against perennial powerhouse North Carolina on December 6 at 4pm PT.
The Tar Heels finished the regular season ranked No. 2 in the coaches’ poll. WSU has already knocked off Nos. 3, 5, and 14 on its journey so far. The Cougs certainly won’t be intimidated.