Cougar soccer kept up its outstanding play last week and leaped five spots in the the NCSAA Coaches poll, all the way up to No. 16. WSU took home road shutouts against Utah and Colorado on Friday and Sunday to push their record to 11-2-0, 4-1-0 in Pac-12 -- good for second place.
Only one Pac-12 opponent is ahead of the Cougs: First place Stanford. This is incredible, coming in a year where the team was not expected to compete for the Pac-12 title after bringing in yet another head coach -- the program's fourth in five seasons. Todd Shulenberger has done a very nice job keeping the program among the best in the conference and in position to compete in the NCAA tournament.
After beating Colorado and Utah 3-0, and 1-0, redshirt freshman goalkeeper Ella Dederick was named the Pac-12 goalkeeper of the week. Dederick helped the Cougs hold on against Utah after junior Kaitlyn Johnson scored the only goal of the match in the ninth minute. Dederick made five saves to register her first shutout since Montana State on Sept. 4.
Dederick had a bit more of a cushion against the Buffaloes as WSU was leading 2-0 going into the half but she didn't let up and recorded another clean sheet. In the process, Dederick recorded a season-high 11 saves.
Shulenberger was pleased with his teams effort over the weekend.
"We knew coming in that this was going to be a tough weekend," he said. "I had this on the schedule as a make-or-break weekend as far as what we were capable of this year. Two games, back-to-back on the road, against two quality teams - we did a great job. I thought last weekend against UCLA was good. I think we were even better today."
This week the Cougars will host Arizona for homecoming on Friday at 7 p.m. The next Thursday, Oct. 22, WSU hosts fourth ranked Stanford in a match that will likely have large implications on the final Pac-12 standings.
The volleyball team had quite the weekend as well, hosting the ranked Arizona schools. Friday, WSU fell in five sets to 14th ranked Arizona. Sunday, The Cougs broke through in a massive way with a straight set win over No. 5 Arizona State at Bohler Gym.
The win against ASU was the first for the Cougs against a top five ranked opponent since Nov. of 2013 when they beat USC. Junior Kyra Holt led the way for WSU with 11 kills and 12 digs. As a team, the Cougars had a hitting percentage of .286 while holding the Sun Devils to a .055 percentage.
Both games are a good sign for the program, which hopefully can continue the strong play into the rest of the schedule. Volleyball will host another pair of matches this weekend against Oregon and Oregon St.; they take on the Beavers on Friday at 5:30 p.m. in Bohler Gym.
The women's swimming team hosted Cal Friday and Saturday and came up short in both meets. The Golden Bears came in as the no. 3 team in the country. WSU, while winless on the season in its duel meets (against tough competition), is ranked No. 24 by collegeswimming.com.