USC comes back to beat WSU

Sep. 29—The phrase “speed kills” is a common one. And Thursday was an example of that.

No. 19 Southern California (USC) Trojans downed the No. 23 Washington State Cougars 2-1 in a Pac-12 women’s soccer match at Lower Soccer Field.

The speed of USC (6-2, 2-0) was on full display. But for 60 minutes, it looked like Washington State (7-3, 0-2) was going to get its first conference win of the season.

“I don’t think we were at our best, overall, tonight,” Washington State coach Todd Shulenberger said. “Especially in the second half there defensively. We lost track — they weren’t great goals they scored.”

Early dominance

For the first half, both teams went back and forth trying to find an opening. The Trojans made several shot attempts but failed to find the back of the net. The Cougars had a couple opportunities early on with the ball near the goalie’s box, but failed to make the most of those chances.

The first player to find paydirt was Margie Detrizio in the 27th minute. The senior forward received a pass right at the midfield line and dribbled from the left to the right side of the pitch while moving forward and avoiding two USC defenders and found the back of the net from the right side of the field, unassisted.

“That one I definitely pulled out of the hat,” Detrizio said. “I’m not a very big player on thinking a lot, so I think I just go into the game just doing what I need to do.”

The first half was also a great showing by goalkeeper Nadia Cooper who had several saves that looked more akin to fielding a punt than securing the ball.

Washington State took the 1-0 lead into halftime and maintained it for an additional 15 minutes in the second half, but fortunes would shift the other direction.

Second-half surge

Through two thirds of the game, the Trojans were unable to score despite several opportunities to do so. As soon as the last third of the game started, that changed when Maribel Flores popped the ball over Cooper’s head in the 61st minute.

By the 63rd minute, the Cougars had been outshot 14-4.

Washington State still had the game in hand at that point and made several pushes to get the lead back.

The best opportunity came in the 72nd minute when the Cougars had worked the ball down to the right of USC’s goal to set up a solid shot that ended up ricocheting down and out from the Trojans’ crossbar.

“I think at times we were trying to keep them in front and just not let the through balls happen,” Fifth-year Washington State defender Bridget Rieken said. “And there were other times where we wanted to step and communicate through (their attacks). Sometimes we got a bit confused on when to do that.”

Another key difference between the first and second halves were the numbers of calls — specifically the margin of calls between the two squads.

USC was whistled five times in the first half and five in the second. WSU, on the other hand, was whistled four times in the first half and 11 times in the second.

This played out to the tune of the Trojans attempting eight total corner kicks to the Cougars’ one.

The nail in WSU’s coffin came in the 77th minute off a free kick. Players from both squads were cluttered together just outside the front right corner of the goalie’s box and Cooper came out from in front of the goal to try and secure the ball to try and reset the play. She wasn’t able to secure it and the ball bounced to Hannah Griffin — who ended up putting it in to put USC ahead.


Despite the result, Thursday’s match was one of celebration. The match was also “Vamos Pumas Latinx Night,” and included in the celebrations were a performance of a mariachi band at halftime, latin music playing over the sound system at the field and the official Washington State soccer Twitter account tweeting out several game updates in Spanish.

Up next

Washington State will face No. 5 UCLA at noon on Sunday at Lower Soccer Field in Pullman.

Southern California 0 2—2

Washington State 1 0—1

Washington State — Margie Detrizio, 27th

Southern California — Maribel Flores (Izzy Kimberly), 61st

Southern California — Hannah Griffin (Angeles Escobar), 77th

Shots — Southern California 17; Washington State 10. Saves — Southern California: Hannah Dickinson 3. Washington State: Nadia Cooper 6.

Kowatsch can be contacted at 208-848-2268, [email protected] or on Twitter @Teren_Kowatsch


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