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WSU vs. Portland, first round of NCAA Championship

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WSUCougars.com – WSU soccer returns to NCAA Championship

PULLMAN, Wash. – Washington State University’s soccer team has received a berth in the NCAA Championship for the fourth time in five years.

The Cougars had a strong season finish, topping the University of Washington Huskies Nov. 2 in a tight 1-0 victory. Now, the Cougars (12-6-1) will travel to take on a tough Portland team (11-4-4), 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 9.

This marks Portland’s 13th consecutive NCAA women’s soccer playoff berth. The Pilots have not lost a first-round game in any of their 12 NCAA tournament appearances.

Friday’s game against the Huskies drew the largest November crowd in school history. The Cougars showed their prowess, defeating the UW while recording the ninth shutout this season. When playing at home, WSU has allowed only two goals all season, tied for fewest in school history.

In the final scheduled match of 2012, team scoring leader Micaela Castain converted what would become the game winner in the 43rd minute by chipping the ball inside the near post. The goal was Castain’s 11th of the year and her fifth game-winning shot of the season.

The WSU defense put forth a strong showing, allowing only two shots in the first half and holding UW at bay amid a barrage of shots in the second period as the Huskies attempted to stay alive.

“This is the culmination of a lot of work,” said first-year WSU Head Coach Keidane McAlpine. “We put the work in and, on a tough day against a tough team, we got a win.”

The Cougars have a record of 8-1 at home, which ties the 1990 squad for the most home victories in school history. They appeared in last year’s NCAA soccer tournament – advancing to the second round, where they lost 3-0 to eventual final-four competitor Virginia.

 

Past strings of Cougar women sports teams in NCAA playoffs include:

  • Women’s outdoor track & field has been represented at the NCAA Championships each of the last 17 seasons.
  • Cougar volleyball five-straight NCAA Championship appearances (1993-97) and three-straight (2000-02)
  • Cougar tennis appeared in four NCAA Championships from 1998-2002.
  • WSU women’s golf made six-consecutive NCAA regional appearances (2002-07).
  • Cougar rowing was invited to the NCAA Championship three times from 2003-06.