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WSU Soccer: Cougars fall to Portland in NCAA tournament opening match

Behind three amazing penalty kick saves by keeper Erin Dees, the Pilots edged the Cougs to advance in the College Cup.

Gurveen Clair's saves in penalty kicks weren't enough.
Gurveen Clair's saves in penalty kicks weren't enough.
WSU Athletic Communications

It was heartbreak city for the WSU soccer team Friday night in the NCAA tournament as a back-and-forth affair that ended in a 2-2 draw after a pair of overtimes concluded with the Cougars on the losing end of the coin flip that is penalty kicks.

The Cougs actually had three chances to win the match in penalties -- twice after keeper Gurveen Clair made a save, once after a Portland player hit the crossbar -- but Dees made spectacular diving saves each time to keep the match going. The match ended when Lauren Previs' attempt in the ninth round flew over the goal for WSU

"It is kind of the story of our season," Washington State Head Coach Keidane McAlpine told WSU Athletic Communications. "We had several opportunities to put the match away tonight and couldn't finish it off. We still have a lot to be proud of this season."

Brandi Vega and Nicole Setterland each scored goals for WSU, which gave them leads of 1-0 and 2-1 that they couldn't hold. The Cougars had the better of the run of play throughout the evening, piling up 19 shots to the Pilots' 10 and nine corners to Portland's three. Clair finished with six saves.

Here are some comments from McAlpine and Setterland about the disappointing end to the season.