GAINESVILLE, Fla. – For the first time in Washington State women's soccer history, the Cougs (10-7-4) pushed their way into the third round of the DI championship after advancing past No. 20 Tennessee (15-4-2) on penalty kicks 3-1 Friday afternoon in the Florida regional.
The Cougs dominated the shootout thanks to three huge saves from Ella Dederick, as the redshirt junior denied three straight Volunteer attempts. On the other end, Maegan O'Neill, Sofia Anker-Kofoed and Jordan Branch all calmly slotted home their attempts from the spot.
The shootout victory would not have been possible without the late-game heroics from senior Kelsee Crenshaw. The outside back helped staved off elimination with a long-range bomb in the 79th minuted to even the game at 2-2. Crenshaw's rocket from deep was necessary after Tennessee took a 2-1 lead into the locker room thanks to a pair of goals Danielle Marcano. Marcano's strikes put the Vols ahead after WSU opened the scoring in the 13th minute on sophomore Morgan Weaver's first postseason goal on the Cougs' first shot of the day.
Coach's quote of the match
"What a game. Cougs advance into the Round of 16 off of a 2-2 tie that goes into penalty kicks. What a performance from our goalkeeper over here, Ella, and the three young ladies who took the shots to close the deal…Here's this little old team from Washington State, Pullman, Washington that comes to Orlando and beats an unbelievable UCF team, knocks them out. Then comes down here and plays a fantastic Tennessee team. When we packed two weeks ago I told the team we're coming here to win and we're coming here to stay. Pack your bags and we're going to go out on this journey."
Things you need to know
- The Cougs moved on to the third round of the NCAA championships for the first time in program history on their fourth attempt.
- The double-overtime draw with the Vols marked the third overtime game with Tennessee in their all-time head-to-head series, in which the Cougs are 1-0-2.
- WSU has played in six overtime games, all double-overtime affairs, in postseason program history, falling in four while advancing on PKs in two others.
- The shootout win was the first for WSU since 2011 when the Cougs advanced past Kentucky 4-2. WSU had lost its last two shootouts in 2012 and 2013.
- Weaver's goal was her team-best seventh of the season and first since scoring at Oregon on Oct. 5. Maddy Haro assisted on the goal, her seventh assist. The Cougs are a perfect 6-0-1 in games Weaver has scored in.
- Crenshaw's goal was her first of the season and second career goal. Her first goal came at Washington in 2015. Shayna Whieldon assisted on the goal, her first of the season and first since tallying one at Oregon State in 2016.
- The Cougs improved to 4-3-2 against top 25 opponents on the year.
- The Cougs move on to face the winner of South Florida and Florida in the third round of the NCAA championships. The game is scheduled for Sunday, Nov. 19 at 2 p.m. ET in Gainesville, Fla.