Coming off two consecutive wins last week, the Cougars look to keep the ball rolling when they travel west to take on their cross-state rival the Washington Huskies Thursday at 7 p.m.
Last week, the Cougars traveled to Arizona and found success against ASU and Arizona. Senior Tiara Pittman’s two goals played a big role in the wins from the Arizona schools and landed her on the topdrawersoccer.com team of the week for her performance.
This is the final match of the regular season for both schools and the Cougars are coming into this week’s match with a 12-6-2 record. They have only been beat three times within the Pac-12.
“We’re competing in the games, which is allowing us opportunities,” Head Coach Matt Potter said. “From that platform, our possession has been better, and we’re limiting the other teams to chances in front of our goal, so all those things are great signs for a winning performance.”
The Huskies hold a 7-8-4 overall record and five of their eight losses came from the Pac-12. They are coming off a loss to Arizona State last week, a team the Cougars beat 2-1 in overtime.
The match will be nationally televised on the Fox soccer channel and marks the 21st time the two teams have met. The Cougars lead the series 9-7-4, and in their last three meetings, the matches have gone into overtime periods. Potter said he expects it to be a hard-fought battle for all 90 minutes.
"This game is our version of the Apple Cup, so it’s obviously an emotional affair,” Potter said. “It’s typically a game of few chances and a competitive battle all over the field, so we’re expecting much the same.”
The Cougars are led by freshman Jocelyn Jeffers in scoring with seven goals and five assists. Her chemistry with junior Brandi Vega up field seems to be a solid combination as Vega has logged six goals and five assists.
In the backfield, redshirt freshman Gurveen Clair has played a role in the Cougars’ success with 79 saves, six shutouts and has only allowed 13 goals in 20 games.
Earlier this season, the Huskies notched some big wins from Utah, Colorado and Arizona and took No. 1 undefeated Stanford into an overtime period. The Cougars have studied their style of play and been preparing for this match all week.
“In any game, we prepare ourselves accordingly,” Potter said."We’re going to stick to our own game plan and understanding of what we expect to happen and how we feel we can take advantage of them.”