Courtesy Idaho Vandals
No. 21 Washington State jumped out of the gates with three quick goals and Idaho wasn't able to recover in a 5-1 loss to the border rivals in an exhibition match on Saturday at Guy Wicks Field.
WSU's Micaela Castain converted the first of her three goals in the contest at the 4:04 mark after the Cougars drew a penalty kick. She added her second score seven minutes later after sneaking a 15-yard shot around Idaho keeper Liz Boyden. Washington State capped off its frantic first 20 minutes by scoring a third goal at the 18:36 mark, this time by Shannon McFadden.
"I'm very disappointed with the result, but a team at this level will come at you, and come at you and then keep coming at you," Idaho head coach Pete Showler said. "We won't face another team of that quality this year, but we have to learn from the mistakes we made and build on the positives, especially those from the second half."
Idaho was outshot by a 7-3 margin in the first half and managed just one scoring chance, a high strike by sophomore Megan Lopez that went through the hands of WSU keeper Meghan Berlingo, but stopped just short of the goal.
The Vandals came out of the second half with renewed vigor and kept the play on the WSU end. Freshman Breanna Wilson drew a foul just outside the penalty box at the 61:40 mark and sophomore Amber Pimley stepped in with a perfect free kick that cleared WSU's wall and found the far post to make the score 3-1.
"There are many of them (Idaho players) who have stayed after practice and worked on those things, and you saw it pay off," Showler said of Pimley's free kick. "It was a great goal – it hit right in the corner and she took it very well."
The Cougars snuck in a pair of late goals as Castain completed her hat trick at the 79:38 mark and Roslyn Pontius poked in a high shot with less than three minutes remaining.
"The second half was much better and up until 10 minutes left, we were leading the second half, so there are a lot of positives to take from that," Showler said. "We competed well, we got the ball down well, we moved it in possession well, but we just slowed down and didn't win tackles in that last 10 minutes."
For the game, WSU outshot Idaho 16-7 overall and 8-3 in on-target shots. The Cougars had seven fouls to Idaho's three and two corner kicks to the Vandals' one.
With their lone exhibition match out of the way, Idaho's women will now gear themselves toward next Friday's season-opener at UC Irvine at 7 p.m. on August 20.
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