College Soccer

Kokoska golazo leads Huskies over Pilots (video clip)

SEATTLE, WA— Sam Kokoska scored a longe-range golazo that proved to be the winner on Thursday night as the Washington Husky Women beat the Portland Pilots 2-1 at Husky Soccer Field. See the shot below via a UW video. UW has now won seven straight matches.

Sam Kokoska. (UW photo)

(school match report from GoHuskies.com) UW women’s soccer extended its winning streak to seven games with a 2-1 victory over Portland on a rainy evening at Husky Soccer Field. Redshirt freshman Sam Kokoska netted the game-winner for the Huskies, scoring her first career goal on a beautiful strike from distance, andShannon Simon scored her fifth goal of the season.

“Portland is a good team,” UW head coach Lesle Gallimore said. “They’re always lethal in the final third. I thought we dodged a few bullets with them, but at the end of the day we’ll take the win. They’ve been a bogey team for us at times, so it feels great to beat them.”

Kokoska became the eighth Husky to score a goal this season and ninth to record a point. Her 44th-minute goal came as a result of a short clearance that bounced to her about 30 yards from the goal. She volleyed the shot low and hard, and the ball ricocheted off the left upright and bounced in.

“That was the best goal I have seen in my career here at Washington,” junior midfielderAmanda Perez said. “You have to describe that goal as world-class.”

“I was focused on not whiffing it,” Kokoska added. “I have to give credit to Shaye (Villanueva). She did a great job of shielding off the player that was running at me so I could have a chance to get the shot off.”

Kokoska’s goal would prove to be the game-winner. Portland scored in the 16th minute to erase an early one-goal lead for the Huskies, as Alyssa Edenstrom scored her first goal of the season. On a corner kick from the left side by Allison Wetherington, Edenstrom headed the ball into the right corner of the net to even the game at 1.

uwblock_logo1“We got an early goal, splitting their backs and catching them out, and then we didn’t do it again for a while and let them back in it,” Gallimore said. “We started turning the ball over and slowed down our rhythm. Sometimes that happens – you get an early goal and you just forget what got you there.”

Simon’s fifth goal of the year came just 26 seconds into the match, as forward Kimberly Keever challenged the defense and was brought down in the box, drawing a penalty kick. Simon stepped up and calmly buried it.

This is the second time in 2015 that Keever has drawn a penalty kick that Simon finished, the first coming against Cal State Northridge in the Huskies’ 3-1 victory over the Matadors.

“As always, Kimby just went at that defender and her speed forced the defender to try and make a desperate play,” Simon said. “I felt pretty confident, I tried to duplicate what I did in the last game.”

Simon, last week’s Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week, has now scored all of her team-leading five goals in the last five games, including four goals in the last three games. She also leads the Huskies with three assists and 32 shots.

With their seventh straight win, the Huskies have matched their longest winning streak since starting the 2012 season with seven straight wins. UW’s longest winning streak all-time is 11 games in the 2000 season.

“I think our success has come from our mentality of focusing on one game at a time and these players stepping up when they need to,” Gallimore said. “The scoring is spread around. The moment you try and take away one person that’s dangerous, someone else steps up. Defensively we’ve been good. The consistency has been there for the most part, and our ability to have numerous players that can be dangerous on goal has really helped us be successful.”

The Huskies have now beaten the Pilots in back-to-back seasons for the first time in the all-time series. Thursday’s win marked the Huskies’ first victory over the Pilots at Husky Soccer Field, with the other three victories coming in Portland in 2000, 2004 and 2014. UW officially tied Portland during the 2010 NCAA Tournament, but the Huskies advanced after winning on penalty kicks.

UW will conclude its non-conference schedule at Gonzaga on Sunday, Sep. 20 at 1 p.m. The game will be shown on TheW.tv and live stats will also be made available.

For more on UW women’s soccer, follow the Huskies on Facebook and on Snapchat, Periscope, Twitter and Instagram at @UW_WSoccer.

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