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WSU soccer looking to get back on track in fall season

The Cougs are looking to return to the top of the mountain after a roller coaster spring season earlier this year.

Washington State _ Gonzaga _ during the Cougars 3-0 win over the Bulldogs on Thursday, Sept. 17, 2015, at Lower Soccer Field in Pullman.
Washington State _ Gonzaga _ during the Cougars 3-0 win over the Bulldogs on Thursday, Sept. 17, 2015, at Lower Soccer Field in Pullman.
Washington State Athletic Communication

To say the least, the 2021 spring season didn’t exactly go as planned for Washington State women’s soccer. Coming off of an appearance in the College Cup semifinals in fall of 2019, the Cougs started off on the right foot, going 4-0-1 through their first five games. But, from there, they ran into a road block. Their next four games were canceled due to COVID-19 issues, and the Cougs never got back on track.

“One thing is that we couldn’t get in a rhythm last year. We were always interrupted with COVID,” WSU head coach Todd Shulenberger told the media on Tuesday. “We’re looking forward to letting these ladies have a, hopefully, non-interrupted season where they can perform and get us back to what we want to do here.”

One of the strengths for WSU this season, is their experience. The Cougs return 19 upperclassmen, including five fifth year seniors.

“Anytime you have a veteran group across the board, from the goalkeeping to the backline to the midfield to the forward line, you’ve got one or two of them sprinkled on each line, that’s a good thing,” Shulenberger said. “Not only do they do their job on the field, but also off the field in the locker room.”

Of course, expectations are high once again for this veteran squad. They were projected to finish fifth in the Pac-12 preseason poll and also picked up 25 points in the preseason coaches poll. The good news is, we won’t have to wait long to find out just how good this Cougar team is.

“This non-conference schedule is, I think, the toughest since we’ve been here,” Shulenberger said. “I think there are four to five either conference champs the last year or teams pushing for a conference championship, so the RPI should be good. We just have to take care of business right now.”

The Cougs will have their first chance to prove themselves on Thursday when they host Arkansas State at Lower Soccer Field. That one is set to start at 7 p.m. with live coverage on WSU’s web stream.

More Links

De Laura and several key Cougars miss practice: Notes and observations from Day 10 of Washington State preseason camp | The Spokesman-Review
Washington State will hold 25 preseason practices before opening the season Sept. 4 against Utah State. The Spokesman-Review will be in attendance for each of those, tracking the relevant storylines, notes, depth chart developments and key plays as the Cougars ramp up to the 2021 football season. Below are observations from the 10th day of fall camp in Pullman.

Cougar Football Continues Preseason Camp - Washington State University Athletics
WSU continued preseason camp Tuesday.