Aug. 31, 2001
LAS VEGAS, Nev. --- Washington State jumped to a 2-0 lead at the half, but was unable to hold on as St. Mary's College spoiled the Cougars season opener 3-2 at the UNLV Classic.
"Looking back, we made three defensive mistakes and they capitalized on our mistakes and converted them into goals," WSU head coach Dan Tobias said. "We have to minimize our mistakes in our defensive third, otherwise quality teams are going to make you pay."
Cougar sophomore Rachel Rodrick opened the scoring at the 11:20 mark in the first half by taking a long kick from goalkeeper Lindsey Jorgensen past St. Mary's stopper Ruth Montgomery for the goal. It was Rodrick's fourth career goal.
Exactly 11:20 later, highly touted freshman Christie Spear gave WSU a 2-0 with another goal off of a pass from senior Liz Duncan. That gave the Cougars, who are 0-3-1 all-time against St. Mary's College, a two-goal advantage at the half.
"We played a very nice first half. We had the run of the play for much of the first half and actually started out very well in the second," Tobias said.
After missing on two excellent scoring chances off of shots by sophomore Jenna Wirtz and freshman Regina McGee, the Cougars suffered a series of defensive breakdowns that allowed St. Mary's back in the match, and eventually cost them the contest.
The Gael's first goal came at the 67:28 mark of the second half when Jenny Barbera converted teammate Katie Frattone's pass into a goal. Barbara and Frattone switched places three minutes later as Frattone, a freshman forward, pushed another goal past Jorgensen to tie the score.
"They got two goals in three minutes and that was the disappointing part," Tobias said. "We had a couple of breakdowns and St. Mary's deserves all the credit in the world, they capitalized."
Frattone scored her second goal of the contest, and the eventual game-winner, with just over eight minutes remaining in the match.
"We did continue to battle but just came up short," Tobias said. "We are disappointed with the result and particularly with the second half, but we will be very prepared and ready for Sunday."
Jorgensen saved seven shots, while Spear led WSU with three shots. For St. Mary's, Frattone scored her pair of goals on five shots with Katie Sticinski, Jennifer Belzer, and Shauna Rech took two each. Montgomery, the Gaels' goalkeeper, saved three shots.
Washington State returns to action at the UNLV Classic Sunday at Noon against the host Rebels.