Aug. 13, 1999
PULLMAN, Wash. -- On your grade school report card, it was the one thing you were afraid to show mom and dad.
A "D" in math? Your mother and I are very disappointed in you.
Later, in college, it was the grade you somehow thought you wouldn't get in that class you never went to.
I got a "D" in geology? How did that happen?
But in 1999, the big D will bombard WSU's opponents with an endless assault.
As in DeWitt.
As in Donovan.
As in DE-FENCE!
As in Don't-even-think-of-dropping-that-ball-in-the-back-of-my-net-goalkeeper Lindsey Jorgensen.
As in Dan Tobias, starting his second season coaching the Cougs.
As in a December Date in the NCAA Tournament.
It all starts with the Dynamic Duo: Deka DeWitt and Meagin Donovan.
Donovan, one of two seniors on the 1999 roster, anchored the Cougar defense the past three seasons. Last year's co-defensive player of the year got more involved in offensive attacks and scored her first two collegiate goals in 1998. "One thing Meagin is -- tough," Tobias said. "She is the one we are going to expect to mark whoever the top offensive player is on the opposing team."
While Donovan patrols the defense, the Cougar offensive charge will come from the firepower of junior forward and All-America candidate DeWitt. With just two years under her belt at WSU, DeWitt already ranks second all-time in goals scored, game-winning goals and multiple-goal matches. Last season, she led the Cougars with 12 goals and 2 assists.
"Deka is a tremendous player," Tobias said. "She finishes her chances. As long as we continue to create chances and at the same time stay on the same page defensively, we are going to be a team that is going to be difficult to play against because we have a finisher like Deka."
And then there's the defense.
Already in the WSU record books, sophomore Lindsey Jorgensen returns as the number one goalkeeper. The co-MVP and co-rookie of the year in 1998, Jorgensen nearly broke the school record with 120 saves. Talk about durability, she set the WSU record with 1,869 minutes in net.
Jorgensen's so tough she makes nails bleed. When she dives, the turf gets Jorgensen burns.
"Lindsey is not going to get complacent," Tobias said. "That coupled with her physical ability and her intelligence is what sets her apart."
Immediately in front Jorgensen, look for sophomores Stacey Dunn, Liz Duncan and Beth Childs to join Donovan as WSU's defensive four.
"Stacey is good at distributing on the ground and she reads the game well," Tobias said. "Liz has the right kind of physical abilities that we're looking for in that marking back position and we think she is someone who can start attacking out of the back and get forward a bit more. Beth has all the qualities we look for in a sweeper. She is a very intelligent player and distributes well out of the back."
In the midfield, senior Christina Pallan and sophomore Lindsey Millspaugh will focus on working the ball up to DeWitt. Pallan, last year's co-captain and co-MVP, finished 1998 with three goals and one assist.
"Christina is a very bright player, very intelligent," Tobias said. "She sees the field. Pallan will be the one who plays a little back of Millspaugh who will reap some of the benefits. Lindsey is someone I really believe can become a good scorer, a good distributor. I would expect her opportunities to increase."
One of the more intriguing pieces of this year's team is the return of redshirt junior forward Kristin Mak after a two-year absence. Mak played for the 1996 Cougar squad, but stepped away from the game during the 1997 and 1998 seasons. She returned to the team this spring and emerged as an excellent complement up front to DeWitt.
"Kristin is a strong player who can play with her back to the goal as a target player," Tobias said. "I think she's going to come back and be a big contributor."
This year's Cougar contingent features 14 returning letterwinners, including eight starters, and seven new freshmen. WSU may be a young squad, with only two seniors and two juniors, but its core of sophomores has the experience and confidence to carry the Cougars to their ultimate goal of becoming a year-to-year contender for the Pac-10 title and NCAA Tournament play.
So watch out for the Dynamic Duo and the Killer D.