April 22, 2013
PULLMAN, Wash. - The Washington State University soccer team closed out its spring season by defeating Eastern Washington 5-0, Saturday.
"It was great to be outside, the weather held up for us," stated Cougar Head Coach Keidane McAlpine. "When we faced Eastern in the preseason of last year the result was 2-0, so this was a good measure of our progress."
From the opening whistle, WSU, in its traditional 4-3-3 formation, took control of the game. Facing Eastern's 4-1-4-1 look, the Cougars were able to hold their position and work up the field, which led to a number of quality chances throughout the first half.
The highlight of the half came when Korynn Blanksma put Washington State on the board first. The position started with defender Rachael Doyle picking off a ball and running it up into the attacking half, where she played it to Jocelyn Jeffers in the left side corner. Jeffers then beat her defender and played it across to the near post where it was picked up by Kourtney Guetlein with her back to the goal. Guetlein played the ball back toward the six, where Blanksma was crashing, and she tapped in under the keeper at the near post.
"It was a great build up and a great goal, led by Rachael Doyle," commented McAlpine.
In the opening half the Eagle keeper was put to the test, being forced into making big saves from the likes of Guetlein, Micaela Castain, Blanksma and Mesa Owsley, who almost bent one in off a corner kick.
The Eagles offensive was limited to only a few attempts in the opening 45 minutes of play and Cougar keeper Gurveen Clair was only forced to make one save. Ultimately, the first half ended with the Cougars leading 1-0.
During halftime, McAlpine encouraged his team to play faster, move the ball faster and to keep the intensity level high. Although Eastern came out in the second half playing harder and pressing more, Washington State picked up right where it left off.
The second goal of the day came off the foot of Doyle, who had moved to the midfield position. The goal was set up by defender Jamie Schnieders feeding a through ball to Guetlein, who found Castain out on the left. Castain beat her defender and rolled the ball to the back post where Doyle was waiting to finish.
Next, Jeffers won a 50-50 ball, turned her defender and slipped a pass to Castain. From 16 yards out on the right side, Castain took a shot with her right foot and tucked it into the far post side netting.
The fourth goal was initiated by a free kick on the right side. Delaney Zalud served it to the far post where Oswley was able to head it back across the goal and inside the right post.
The fifth and final WSU goal came via walk-on Morgan Porter. Porter was set-up by a 35 yard free kick taken by Jeffers. Jeffers chipped the ball behind the line where Doyle, who had slipped her defender, got the first touch on it. The Eagle keeper made a save, but Porter was there to tap it in.
Cougar keeper Alexis Thode, who redshirted last season, played the final 35 minutes and made a couple saves.
"This was a great way to end the spring," continued McAlpine. "All the things we worked on defensively and our attacking were highlighted today. We finally put together a full performance on both sides of the ball that is worthy of the quality of this team. It leaves me very excited about what the fall will bring."