March 10, 2009
TEMPE, Ariz. - The Washington State University soccer team finished second at the Arizona State spring tournament held last weekend.
In the tournament opener against BYU, the Cougars played well offensively and battled to a 0-0 draw. WSU hit a post with one shot, the crossbar with another, and earned five corner kicks in the first 14 minutes of play.
"Considering this was our first 11v11 game since the fall, I was delighted with the play of our team," Cougar Head Coach Matt Potter said. "Our lesson was the importance of capitalizing on the scoring opportunities we generate. BYU is a strong and competitive team and the game reflected the fact both teams are strong-tournament caliber."
"Playing with little rest between games challenged us, especially against a good NAU team that was in the NCAA Tournament last season and plays in a different system than most and is very difficult to break down," Potter said. "However, we were patience, if not precise, and created opportunities throughout the game. We were disappointed to give up a PK and hence the lesion of focus and discipline was important to take from the game."
In the championship game, a late goal by Nebraska netted the Cornhuskers a 1-0 victory and tournament title.
"It was a great championship game to end the day against an athletic, talented and creative Nebraska team that scored eight goals in the tournament, including three against Arizona State, prior to our match," Potter said. "The game was a great test, one that pushed us to a new level. The response from our group was tremendous. I was pleased with our fitness level, our creativity and possession."
Potter added, "To carve out the number of opportunities we did was a huge positive. With that said, the lesson is good teams find a way to win and if you don't take your chances, you can find yourself with a tough loss. Overall, it was a great weekend which gives us some great feedback on personnel, the points of emphasis as we move forward, and the reinforcement that the work we have committed is paying off. It was great to practice, play and get everyone minutes even if the changes did disrupt the quality of our play at times. It was an excellent environment for soccer and kudos to (ASU Head Coach) Kevin Boyd for the quality of the event."