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Cougars Open Pac-10 Play With USC, UCLA

Women's soccer looks to end four-game losing streak.

October 6, 1998

PULLMAN, Wash. - The Washington State women's soccer squad (2-6-2) opens Pacific-10 Conference play this weekend as the Cougars host top conference contenders USC and UCLA.

The Cougars look to end their current four-game losing streak when they open Homecoming Week festivities versus USC (6-4-1) Friday, Oct. 9 at 3 p.m. and UCLA (10-1-1) Sunday, Oct. 11 at 12 p.m. The match versus UCLA will be shown by Fox Sports Northwest on a tape delay basis Monday, Oct. 12 at 2 p.m.

The Trojans have won two straight, defeating Cal State-Fullerton 3-1 and shutting out UC Irvine 3-0. USC has been shutout in each of their four losses while posting five shut outs of its own. Last season, USC blanked the Cougars 2-0 in Los Angeles, handing WSU its third all-time loss without a win versus the Trojans.

The Cougars will have their hands full with defending Pac-10 champion UCLA. The Bruins are ranked 18th in the nation by the NSCAA and 12th by Soccer America. UCLA is off to its best start ever, as its most recent victories came last weekend in the Hawai'i Tournament defeating Villanova 1-0 and Hawai'i 4-1. The Bruins have out scored their opponents 26-2 and have posted seven shutouts this season. The Cougars' all time record versus UCLA is 1-3-1.

"We're excited. The schedule favors us and it's great to open up Pac-10 play at home with two of the teams expected to contend for the conference title. If that doesn't get you excited, nothing will," said Dan Tobias, WSU head coach. "I see our record now as 0-0-0 and see our non-conference games as an extension of the pre-season."

Despite the disappointing Cougar losses, sophomore forward Deka DeWitt (Auburn, Wash.) continues to shine offensively. After the Montana Grizzlies jumped out to an early 1-0 lead Sunday, DeWitt's shot from eight yards tied the match. Montana moved ahead 2-1 on a header from an indirect kick until DeWitt's second goal tied the match once again with only two minutes left in regulation. The Cougars eventually fell 3-2 in overtime.

DeWitt's Pac-10 leading 10 goals tie her for sixth with Vicki Day (1989) on the all-time WSU single season scoring list. Her 16 career goals place her second behind Kim Lynass (1990-93) on the all-time career list after only one and a half seasons of play. Dewitt is also ranked 16th in the nation with 10 goals scored in 10 games.

Washington State Cougars Athletics