PULLMAN, Wash. - Washington State and visiting Illinois battled through 110 minutes without a goal on a muddy terrain at Lower Soccer Field, Saturday in the NCAA Division I Women’s Soccer Championship First Round.
With the 0-0 draw, the match was decided on penalty kicks and the Illini (10-8-3) advanced by a 3-1 margin. For the 21st-ranked Cougars (14-3-4), it was the second-straight year they were eliminated on penalty kicks in the first round of postseason (at Portland). It was also the third-straight season Washington State’s first postseason match was decided in penalty kicks. The Cougars advanced at Kentucky in 2011.
“First, thank you to the people who cleared three inches of snow off the field this morning so we could play,” Cougar Head Coach Keidane McAlpine said. “We had administrators, coaches, student-athletes from other sports as well as great event staff helping out. Our crowd support was tremendous. We talked about being a family and our family came together today. I feel badly for our kids because I felt they did enough to win the match. We just did not see the ball go in the net today.”
The Cougars held a 29-10 advantage in shots, including 17-4 in the first half. Washington State goalkeeper Gurveen Clair was called on to make one save in the second half while Illinois goalkeeper Claire Wheatley made 11 saves, including two fantastic efforts in the first half.
In penalty kicks, Wheatley stopped Jocelyn Jeffers and Kourtney Guetlein in the first two rounds while Aliina Weykamp and Taylore Peterson converted to give the Illini a 2-0 advantage. In round three, Katie Turney made her shot for the Cougars and Clair denied Allie Osoba. After Nicole Setterlund’s shot sailed high in round four, Vanessa DiBernardo sent the Illini to the second round with a conversion.
Washington State’s 29 shots were the most in a match by the Cougars since 2003…Cougars posted their school-record 15th shutout in 2013…second-straight year Illinois has advanced on penalty kicks in the first round (at Missouri)…third-straight season Illini has made it to the second round having defeated Notre Dame at home in 2011.