Cougar Soccer Receives NCAA Championship Bid
For the first time in six seasons, the Washington State University women's soccer program participated in the NCAA Championship.
The Cougars, ranked 24th in the nation, received an at-large bid and traveled to Portland, Ore., to take on No. 15 Texas in a first round match. In the second all-time meeting between the programs, Texas squeaked past WSU 1-0 with a second half goal.
"Obviously, we are disappointed to lose the game," WSU Head Coach Matt Potter said. "When you make the tournament everything is up for grabs, but we did not accomplish what we set out to do. The game started out at a very fast pace, and once it settled down, we had better possession that led to some half chances and some set piece opportunities. In the second half, the one moment of quality Texas created, they punished us."
The Cougars' NCAA appearance marked the fourth all-time for the program and the first since 2002.
"I am very proud of this group, and they deserve this moment, but there is a part of me that thinks about those that have come before them and the work they have put in. This moment is for them as well," Cougar Head Coach Matt Potter said after the Cougars' NCAA selection on Nov. 10. "I was confident in this team at the beginning of the year and it has given me reason to continue to be confident. I felt we should be announced, but there is always that little of piece of me that had doubt because of years past. We are very thankful for all those who have supported us."
The NCAA berth came after the Cougars' first Pac-10 home weekend sweep since 2005 with a 1-0 victory in regulation over Arizona and a 1-0 double-overtime win against Arizona State at Lower Soccer Field.
Junior tri-captain Carly Dobratz added, "I was waiting and just wanted our name to be announced. We came together (Saturday) and we are all on the same page. Everybody just wanted this so badly."
WSU finished the season with an 11-5-5 overall record and finished fifth in the Pac-10 with a 4-3-2 conference mark.
A Message From WSU Head Women's Soccer Coach Matt Potter
On behalf of all of us in women's soccer I would like to say a BIG thank you for the support we received both at home and on the road.
The atmosphere at home games was fantastic and definitely served to help us find that little bit more in our performances. With the noise of the drum line and fans, Cougarland was truly the difficult environment we have always looked to create for opponents, a fun and loud atmosphere! It is one we look to develop even more next fall. We set records for both average attendance and total attendance this season.
A special thanks to those that supported us in Portland for our NCAA tournament game. Past players, family members and friends, it was a great crowd that will now give us that extra incentive to work hard as we turn our attention to preparing for an even better 2009 season!
The support and atmosphere at games made it a season to remember and we are grateful and appreciate all your support.