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An intense opening draw for WSU soccer

Game ends 1-1 after one of the most insane combos ever.

Grayson Lynch contributed five of the Cougs’ astonishing 39 shots.
Robert Hubner/WSU Photo Services

Good afternoon, Coug fans! Sorry for the delay, I had an early start this morning, and part of me is still processing such a high intensity game last night. Don’t know what I’m talking about? Time to learn!

Let’s just jump right in, shall we? To make a long story short- if you didn’t watch your Washington State Cougars battle it out until the very end against the Arkansas State Red Wolves to start off the soccer season, you missed a nail biter.

While the game ended in a draw 1-1, the Cougs fought their way into double overtime after taking 39 shots. Their biggest obstacle? Powerhouse Arkansas State goalie Megan McClure. You might have seen her name floating around on your Twitter feeds last night because all of us watching were collectively freaking out at her 9 shots saved. Unfortunately for us, McClure was nothing short of a beast.

The game began with strong performances from MacKenzie Frimpong-Ellerston, Elyse Bennett, Sydney Struder and Sydney Pulver. Enzi Broussard also had some fast pace opportunities.

The first goal (tragically) was obtained by Arkansas State at minute 16, and the game went on to be scoreless for roughly the next 55 minutes. Eventually, Coug icon Mykiaa Minniss found Alyssa Gray on a foray into the box, where she drew a foul. Sydney Pulver was finally able to sneak the ball past McClure on the ensuing penalty kick.

And, two Cougs who fought especially hard for their team? Gray and Grayson Lynch. Both forced fouls and weren’t afraid to get right up in the thick of it. Both were knocked down quite a bit, but always managed to get right back up.

By the end of the game, the Cougs had taken 20 corner kicks — besting the previous record of 15 against Idaho in 2014. (Side note- in case you didn’t watch, a familiar audio rings through the Lower Soccer Field ... but with a twist. “And that’s another ... Cougar corner kick!”)

The Cougs applied consistent offensive pressure and our defense was at the ready for backup as needed. Truly, the biggest downfall of this game was our offense not being able to anticipate a literal brick wall in human form in front of Arkansas States goal. If there had been a goalie of even slightly less caliber, the game would have ended a lot differently. This gives the Cougs an opportunity to hone in on what needs work.

Head coach Todd Schulenberger mentioned how he’s gearing the team towards more focused attacks closer to the goal, but this game (and Arkansas State’s defense in general) proved that running right in the middle isn’t always a safe bet either.

Even though it did end in a tie, this game got me unbelievably pumped for this upcoming season- in large due to the massive crowd presence. Roughly 3,100 people were in attendance (3,147 to be exact) and hearing a massive “GOOOO” “COOOOUGS” lit a fire in my soul that hasn’t burned for quite some time. I could practically hear y’all from Chicago. Excellent work, Coug fans.

I hope everyone tunes into the next game: August 29th the Cougs take on Eastern Washington at 1:00 PM Pacific Time. See you there.


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