Cougars fall to Portland on penalty kicks, exit playoffs

Cougars fall to Portland on penalty kicks, exit playoffs

PORTLAND, Ore. –  ( Taylor Brooke converted in the ninth round of penalty kicks to lift 21st-ranked and No. 4 seed Portland past Washington State in the NCAA Division I Women’s Soccer Championship First Round at Merlo Field, Friday night.

The Cougars (12-6-2) had four chances to capture the shootout. Gurveen Clair made a save on Kendall Johnson’s attempt in the second round and Jocelyn Jeffers, Brandi Vega, Micaela Castain and Katie Turney each converted to give Washington State a 4-3 lead heading into the fifth and final round.

Portland (11-4-5) goalkeeper Erin Dees kept the Pilots alive before making a save on Rachael Doyle to force and extra round. In the sixth round, Clair stopped Emily Sippel’s bid giving Mariah Cameron a chance to end it for the Cougars. Once again, Dees made a save and the match continued.

After a Portland make, Nicole Setterlund kept Washington State alive with a conversion to send the match to the eighth round. Devlyn Jeter hit the crossbar for the Pilots, but Zoe Jeffers was denied by Dees. After Brooke gave Portland a 6-5 advantage, Lauren Previs sailed her attempt over the crossbar ending the Cougars’ season.

“It is kind of the story of our season,” Washington State Head Coach Keidane McAlpine said. “We had several opportunities to put the match away tonight and couldn’t finish it off. We still have a lot to be proud of this season.”

The Cougars went on top 1-0 at 35:35 when Micaela Castain beat a defender up the left side and sent a pass into the box that was redirected by Brandi Vega for her eighth goal of the season.

Portland tied the match 1-1 at 42:06 on Johnson’s goal inside the far post. It was a bit deflating for the Cougars who outshot the Pilots 9-2 in the first half and generated five corner kicks to Portland’s one.

The Cougars responded in the second half on Nicole Setterlund’s third goal of the year. The sequence started with Korynn Blanksma’s blast from eight yards out being tipped away resulting in a corner kick for Washington State.

Mesa Owsley served the ball into the box, but the Pilots cleared. Delaney Zalud made a tremendous play to head the ball back into the box where Setterlund put it away with her back to the net on a heel kick to put Washington State on top 2-1 at 53:46.

At 61:58, Michelle Cruz tipped Johnson’s long pass past Clair to tie the match 2-2. It was Clair who helped enable the Cougars to get into penalty kicks making a tremendous save in the 66th minute to stop Frisbie, Portland’s leading scorer, on a breakaway before making two-quality saves in the second overtime.

Washington State finished the match with a 19-10 advantage in shots and earned nine corner kicks to the Pilots’ three.

Brandi Vega completed her career ranked on the Cougar career list for game-winning goals (tied for third, 8), matches played (tied for third, 80), points (sixth, 55), goals (tied for sixth, 21) and assists (tied for eighth, 13)…junior Micaela Castain is eighth in career points for the Cougars with 47.


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