Nov. 2, 2001
LOS ANGELES, Calif. --- The Washington State women's soccer team was unable to recover from a goal in the ninth minute by USC's Megan Kakadelas, dropping a 1-0 decision at McAlister Field Friday afternoon.
The match dropped Washington State's overall record to 7-7-0 and 2-4-0 in the Pac-10. The Cougars needed the victory to bolster their postseason resume, especially with No. 5 UCLA looming on the schedule Sunday.
"We just looked a little flat at times," Cougar head coach Dan Tobias said. "It was real close, but it is always tough in the Pac-10 on the road. This would have put us in a good position had we got a good result, but that just makes Sunday's game that much bigger."
After the Trojans' early goal, Washington State responded with a pair of scoring opportunities that it was unable to convert.
The first came on a shot from sophomore Rachel Rodrick, whose attempt sailed high, hit the crossbar, and bounced out of danger.
Minutes later, USC goalkeeper Shaelyn Fernandes made a spectacular save on a shot by freshman Meghan Cecchini, helping the Trojans narrowly avoid the tying goal. The Cougars outshot USC 7-6 in the first half.
"The thing that was good in the second half was that USC had some good chances, but they didn't put them away," Tobias said. "We were unlucky not to get the tying goal.
"In the beginning of the game, our lack of energy happened to be a time that they scored a goal. That turned out to be the difference in the game."
The Cougars were not only battling the Trojans, ranked 23rd in the nation this week, but also the injury bug that has plagued them during the 2001 season.
Sophomore defender Danielle Sass, injured in last Sunday's match against Arizona, did not make the trip. Senior captain Beth Childs, WSU's all-time leader in assists, was injured in practice Wednesday and will be a game-time decision Sunday against UCLA. Sophomore Sara Leibowitz, who is 3-0 as a starter in goal this season, played 15 minutes in the field at defender due to the rash of injuries.
Senior Lindsey Jorgensen saved three shots in goal for Washington State.
The Cougars play UCLA Sunday at noon in Los Angeles. The match will be WSU's final contest on the road this season, as they return to Pullman to face Oregon State and Oregon next Friday and Sunday.