ORLANDO, Fla. – In one of the gutsiest defensive performances in Washington State history, the Cougs (10-7-3) took down the No. 8 and two-seeded Central Florida Knights (13-2-3), 1-0, Saturday night in the first round of NCAA Championships.
The Cougs advanced thanks to the efforts of keeper Ella Dederick and her defensive mates as WSU handed the Knights just their second loss of the season while picking up the Cougs' 11th shutout of the year. Standing on her head throughout the night, Dederick came up with six crucial saves while the backline added three more stops on the line. On the other end, it was the Knights vaunted defense that suffered a fatal blow when an intended clearance on a Cougar cross was inadvertently headed into the home net in just the fifth minute of play.
Coach's Quote Of The Match
"We did what we had to do and then it was a little bit like the UCLA game.We had to fight for everything in the second half and we did. The good thing is in the conference we're in everyday this is what we see everyday. We're used to that. We're battle-tested. We're so excited. Everyone counted us out flying us from Pullman to Orlando. And here go the Cougs. We're excited. Back to business and on to the next round."
Things You Need To Know
- The Cougs moved on to the second round of the NCAA Championships for the fourth time in program history.
- WSU took down their second top-10 opponent of the year having already upset No. 2 UCLA earlier in the year. The Cougs improved to 4-3-1 against top-25 opponents on the year and 2-2 against the top-10.
- Ella Dederick recorded her 11th shutout of the season, second-most in program history while picking up her 18th career clean-sheet, tying Lindsey Jorgensen (1998-2001) for third all-time.
- Grace Hancock recorded her fifth defensive save of the season.
- The own goal was the first scored by a Coug opponent since Aug. 24, 2015 vs. Idaho.
- The Cougs move on to face Tennessee in the second round of the NCAA Championships. The game is tentatively scheduled for Friday in Gainesville, Fla.