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2008 (Pac-10 Part One)
We started off our Pac-10 season in Southern California, with UCLA and USC. We knew it would be a tough weekend on the road against two top-ranked teams, but we were prepared to give it everything we had. We started out well against UCLA, scoring first and very early in the game to go ahead 1-0. We played well defensively, as UCLA bombarded our goal with shots in the first half, trying to look for the equalizer. We went into the half still up 1-0, and looked forward to an even tougher second half. It started fast and it never stopped, as UCLA kept shots coming looking to tie the game. With one minute left in the game, UCLA scored to tie the game, forcing overtime. We played the first overtime tight, and the second one started well too. However, a deflected clearance found the back of our net a few minutes in, giving UCLA the 2-1 win. It was a tough loss, but some lessons were definitely learned. We promised ourselves we'd bring the same sort of fight to USC, and we did.

As the game started on Sunday, USC sent everything at us for the first 20 minutes, but we held strong and Lindsay Parlee made some great saves; we went into half tied 0-0. In the second half, play was more equal as USC only outshot us by one. Both teams threatened the goal, but no goals were scored as we headed into our second overtime game of the weekend. We nearly had a chance to win it as Carly Dobratz's header was tipped around the post in the first overtime, but it just didn't go our way. We ended double overtime in a tie. Overall, a positive result against the defending national champion, and a positive weekend in terms of our play.

Next up, the Northern California schools! We played them at home in some very nice weather for October in Pullman. Another tough weekend against two ranked teams again, but we were looking to put together two more positive performances. California was up first on Friday afternoon. We started well, pressuring the Cal backline hard, and getting the result with a goal in the 18th minute by Kiersten Dallstream. We held off some of Cal's chances and went into halftime up 1-0. The second half started a little bit slower, and Cal capitalized, scoring in the 58th minute. The game was evenly matched after that with both teams getting their chances, but just as it looked like we were about to go into our third consecutive overtime game, one went our way. Kiersten created a turnover on the top of the 18 and fed the ball to Tiara Pittman, who put it past the Cal goalkeeper to score the game-winner in the 89th minute. A great result against another ranked team!

On Sunday, Stanford came to town with an undefeated record. Stanford had most of the possession in the first half, scoring off of a cross a little before half to go up 1-0. They scored again early in the second half off of a corner kick to make it 2-0, and then again off of a poor pass back to make it 3-0. We continued to press, but the lead was just too much. The final score was 3-0 - - needless to say we were disappointed with the result, but we looked forward to our next trip to Oregon.

Our last Pac-10 road trip was to the Oregon schools. Oregon was up first on Friday night! We played a little frantically in the first half, but found a way to go up 1-0 on a shot by Carly Dobratz. We knew that we would have to step up the performance though to get the result we wanted. The second half started out well, but still a little sloppy for us. We held off Oregon though until the 88th minute, when they found the back of the net off of a free kick to tie the game 1-1. Again, it seemed that we had let ourselves down as another team had found a way to tie the game late. However, we were not to walk out of there without the result, and we gave it everything we had. Tiara and Carly combined for the final goal early in the second overtime to win the game, 2-1.

Next our attention was on Oregon State. This game was pretty sloppy as well, as we committed uncharacteristic turnovers and forced possession. OSU scored very early to go up 1-0, but off of the kickoff, we received a free kick and Ali Fenter scored to tie the game 1-1. We found the back of the net again not too long later as Carly Dobratz headed the ball past the OSU keeper to make it 2-1. However, OSU found a way to score again off of a free kick to tie the game 2-2 at half. We vowed we would start the second half better, but OSU scored again to make the game 3-2. We couldn't find the equalizer with the time remaining and suffered the 3-2 defeat at OSU. It was one of our more disappointing results this year, and a lot to learn from that game. Now our focus is on UW. We play Friday at 2pm! Come out if you can!

-Mallory, Carly, Maggie

2008 (Week 4)
Well we're back home free, well at least enough time to get caught up on school. It was a bittersweet weekend with a win over the ranked Gauchos of UCSB. You could tell we wanted it; after a lot of the southwest kids were able to see there families we really wanted to impress. There was quite a crowd which we thrive on even more and made the atmosphere more intense. We went up a goal by Kiersten Dallstream with an assist from Emma Stolz and they came back with a goal. Then we came back with another goal by Kiersten Dallstream and again they came back and tied it up 2-2. To take it to the end to leave it at a 3-2 victory over UCSB, Elysse VanLeer put an amazing shot upper "V" with an assist from Kiersten Dallstream. So the forwards were IN THE ZONE and it was awesome to witness with the rest of the team working their hearts out in order to bring WAZZU a victory. Then Sunday's game was a different story. There was just something in the air that wasn't clicking. Our passes, runs, communication were just off in some way or another. We just weren't on the same page and you could see it through our play, reaction and frustration to the game. We're not forgetting the Pepperdine result were taking it and impacting it on our team of what we need to do instead, and look ahead to better ourself in the future and taking a step forward in the right direction starting this Wednesday against Seattle University.

-Mallory Fox, Maggie Dougher, and Carly Dobratz

2008 (Week 3
We woke up Thursday morning (Sept. 4) at the Ramada Inn by the Spokane airport half asleep making the walk over at 5:30 a.m. Our flight left at 7 a.m. and our journey to the Eastern Time Zone began once again. We were supposed to have a layover in Chicago for about an hour and a half which turned into three hours because of rain. Note to self: Never fly into Chicago O'Hare Airport you will be stuck there for days with the only interesting things being the Great American Bagel and a cute little Planters Peanut store. Anyway, we finally got out of there and arrived at our destination Knoxville, Tenn. Everyone was excited for Olive Garden, but we had to cancel our reservations and get food to go because our flight got in so much later then it was supposed to. After dinner we headed to bed knowing the next day was going to ask a lot from us.

GAME DAY!! Friday morning, we woke up for breakfast in the coach's room and later headed to the field to get rid of our travel legs and loosen up with a light practice. After, we headed to the team's favorite lunch stop, Panera, which turned out to be somewhat of a disaster, but we made it out with our sandwiches and had to stop at the grocery store for pregame snacks. Returning to the hotel, we had some time to ourselves in our rooms to prepare for the game (which mostly consisted of homework for all you parents out there). Around 4:15 p.m. we loaded the bus and headed to the game against Illinois. Within the first 20 minutes we had some good opportunities with Carly slamming the cross bar but couldn't find the back of the net. Toward the end of the half we let up and got caught down 1-0. Going into halftime we knew we were going to have to do more then what was required of us to try and get a win. Mallory converted a penalty kick, after Kiersten sacrificed her body by getting punched in the face by the opposing goalie and bleeding from her gums. We took our opportunity and capitalized on it. It was then 1-1 and both teams were battling and had their opportunities. Once again we got caught and went down 2-1 leaving that to be the end result. Our first loss of the season against a nationally-ranked team, not too bad but we were definitely disappointed knowing the effort put in deserved something more than a loss. We then headed to Chili's for dinner where people's appetites weren't usually what they had been; sick to their stomachs from the outcome, because our bill wasn't as much as it usually was. After dinner we headed back to the hotel where everyone hit the pillow and passed out.

Saturday was little bit different for us this weekend. First, we didn't go to the field and instead did our rejuvenation session in a park behind the hotel. It turns out there was a biker convention there or something. It was quite an interesting sight with motorcycles completely surrounding the park. We finished the session and then got dressed in our matching outfits (we always match) and headed to Tennessee for a luncheon. Tennessee hosted a great tournament, and invited all three teams to the basketball arena for a great lunch, some entertainment, and a nice gift. The captains had to get up and introduce themselves and then share some sort of talent or funny joke. We brought Elysse up with us (she's much funnier) and she did her Miss Swan impression for everyone - - got lots of laughs! We headed back to the hotel for study time and dinner, as everyone's focus turned toward the game against West Virginia.

GAME DAY!! It was a sunny, warm day and the perfect opportunity for a result against a ranked team. We packed up all of our stuff, and loaded the bus before we headed to the stadium. We started the game out strong, keeping the dangerous WVU team from creating too many chances. It was a tough battle all over the field on a warm day, but we went into half tied 0-0. The second half started just at fast and hard as the first, and West Virginia capitalized on a poor clearance to score the first goal, going up 1-0. However, we kept the pressure high and Elysse capitalized on the keeper fumbling the ball and put one in the back of the net for us. At the end of regulation, we were tied 1-1 and going into our third overtime game in our last four games. We had our chances in the overtime, nearly missing twice to put the game away, but kept our sheet clean at the back as to not allow West Virginia to score. We ended the game in a tie, 1-1, and a little disappointed that we hadn't won. Overall, a good result against a ranked team - - but we're definitely looking for more as we head to UCSB and Pepperdine this weekend!

-Mallory Fox, Maggie Dougher, and Carly Dobratz

2008 (Week 2)
The East 2,400 miles away - we started our journey on Wednesday (Aug. 27) afternoon as we left for Spokane. We were on the red eye flight (it's not like the movie we promise) to Washington D.C. and we arrived at 5:30 in the morning. Our next stop was Jenny Christoph's house for a delicious homemade breakfast. then our journey began again on the way to Harrisonbug, Va. On the bus I woke up to adjust and to my surprise everyone was passed out there was nothing but legs and heads in the rows, it was dead silent, and you could literally have heard a pin drop. We checked into the hotel, had practice at James Madison then returned back to the hotel with strict instructions not to nap. The weather was awful and we hoped it would clear up before the game Friday night. Everybody was exhausted from the trip and went to bed early with anxious feelings looking forward to the game the next day.

GAME DAY!!!!!! After breakfast Friday morning we headed to the field to loosen our legs and get a look at the gorgeous James Madison field. After a light practice session we headed to Panera, our new favorite place for our lunch/ pregame meal. We were then left to ourselves for a couple hours before the game; we went on a walk and listened to the inspiring words Matt had to tell us about having a warrior spirit. Finally it was game time and boy was it a battle. They came at us hard right from the start. We slipped up giving them the lead within the first 10 minutes, but were able to come back with an astonishing finish from Emma Stolz who capped her first goal as a Cougar in the bottom left corner of the net. Play was pretty equal then with both teams having their chances until almost half when Ali Fenter scored her first-collegiate goal off a header from a free kick by Maggie Dougher bypassing the keeper and we took the lead 2-1. The second half they came at us again hard from the start and we gave up a goal within the first five minutes. As the game remained tied both teams desperately tried to win the game. However, at the end of regulation the game was still tied and we went into overtime. Neither team was able to find the game-winner as we finished tied 2-2. We were looking forward to another chance at a win Sunday.

Saturday was our usually light morning recovery practice and after we were allowed to leave with parents or find lunch ourselves. We met back at the hotel for mandatory study time and the Cougar football game before dinner at Applebee's. Following dinner we had positional meetings to wrap up details before the game against William and Mary.

GAME DAY!!!!! The game started differently from Friday night and it seemed that both teams were fatigued. We gave everything we had and fought for our chances, we had three yellow cards given as everyone wanted to find a way to win. With a little more composure and possession it might have been a different game, but at the end of regulation we were tied again and went into overtime. During overtime we had some of our best opportunities to finish but couldn't capitalize as we ended in a 0-0 tie. We were pretty disappointed in the result, but in the end it wasn't a loss and we still remained undefeated. We quickly got on the bus and headed on a long journey back to Pullman. We will only be there two days before we leave again for Tennessee but we will be prepared for matches against Illinois and West Virginia.

Stay tuned and GO COUGS!!!!!
-Maggie Dougher, Carly Dobratz, and Mallory Fox

2008 (Week 1)
The end of preseason is finally here and our games can finally start!! We finished up 2-a-days on Friday, Aug. 15 (very exciting), and had our annual Soccer Olympics before finishing up with a scrimmage on Sunday morning, Aug. 17 in the 100-degree heat. Then we headed into a normal week of practice as we prepared for our first game against Montana!!! Another year begins!!

On Thursday morning (Aug. 21), the team left for Montana after lunch. It was a very uneventful bus ride to Missoula, but had a great dinner at Johnny Carino's where we celebrated Caeli's 21st birthday!! Happy Birthday Caeli! After dinner, we checked into the hotel and turned our focus toward the game the next day. It was our first game, on the road, and with a lot of new faces, so we made sure that everything was detailed in preparation for a great performance.

Gameday started out with breakfast before our walkthrough at the field. There we saw just how much the rain had soaked the field (it was very muddy) and got our bearings for the game later that night. The weather was nice and was supposed to be perfect for game time! After that is was more rest and food at the hotel as we individually got ourselves ready for the game.

5 p.m. - GAME TIME: The game started out well for us. We kept possession, hunted and defended together, and worked hard in transition. Montana got a surge of possession with about 20 minutes left in the first half, but Kiersten capitalized on a great ball from freshman Megan Chapin to beat the keeper and put us up 1-0 with five minutes left in the half! The second half brought about some changes from Montana as it tried to score the equalizer, but with some good team defense and great stops by Lindsay Parlee, we held our lead to end up winning the game 1-0! A good result on the road, and it definitely gave us some things to build on. We're looking for an even better game this weekend as we travel to Virginia to take on two great teams in James Madison and William & Mary!

-Mallory Fox, Maggie Dougher, and Carly Dobratz

Washington State Cougars Women's Soccer