PULLMAN, Wash.— The early season offensive struggles for the Vandal soccer team continued Friday afternoon as Idaho fell to Washington State, 5-0, in front of the hostile crowd at Lower Soccer Field. The Cougars now hold a 9-1-0 series lead over the Vandals.
“The positives were in the second half today,” head coach Pete Showler said. “The first half we were a little like deer in the headlights. In the first 15 minutes we possessed the ball, after that we just let players beat us to the ball and run through us.”
Washington State (2-0-0) got started early, scoring in the eighth minute. Cara Wagner took a cross at the left side post and put the ball past keeper Torell Stewart. The two teams kept a back-and-forth pace into the 24th minute when Nicole Setterlund snuck the ball under the crossbar for a 2-0 lead.
The ensuing kickoff resulted in a quick WSU possession and in the 25th minute Micaela Castain netted her first of two goals in the game from 16 yards out. Late in the first half Washington State put another ball to the back of the net, going into the half up by four.
The young Vandals squad played seven freshmen on the day, with five getting the starting nod. As a whole they knew that their Pac-12 opponent would be a tough match. After the halftime break, Idaho (0-3-0) came out with more vigor at the behest of the coaching staff.
“When you play a top-30 side like that, they are going to beat you to the ball,” Showler commented. “In the second half we challenged the team not to be beaten to the ball, and they didn’t. The girls know what is expected of them and now we have to put two full halves together. Against a quality opposition like that we have to know that we need to compete from the first minute to the 90th. Today was just for 45 minutes.”
Idaho started with Stewart in net for the first time this season. She totaled five saves in the half. Marina Siegl began the second half in net, reversing roles from the previous two games. Siegl faced only two shots on goal, making one save.