The Cougars look to continue their winning streak this weekend as they play their fifth and sixth away games of the season, traveling to the Golden State to take on the Santa Clara Broncos and the USC Trojans.
On Friday, the Cougars will step foot onto Bronco territory in a long-awaited matchup with Santa Clara. The two teams have not met since 1998, and Santa Clara is leading the all-time series 2-0-1 against WSU.
Santa Clara is 3-1-4 on the season, and ranked No. 18 in the nation by Soccer Times. Washington State is receiving votes in both the Soccer Times and NSCAA national polls after their last two victories in overtime.
“Santa Clara on the road is a tough assignment for anybody, so we know we have to be at our best,” Head Coach Matt Potter said. “We know each other very well and we believe in a similar philosophy for the game, so it’s up to us to find a way to perform.”
Redshirt freshman Gurveen Clair said that besides scoring, the Cougars have a goal of being strong defensively, keeping possession and controlling the tempo of the game.
Clair has been solid at the net this year with 27 saves and a .818 average with two shutouts.
Following its match against the Broncos, WSU will hit the road one last time to Los Angeles, Calif., to play the Women of Troy at USC. The Trojans recently lost to Portland and are 3-6-0 on the season. They lead the all-time series with the Cougars 9-4-3, but have yet to win at home this season.
Potter said practice has been productive this week, with the team using the time to re-group after having four games on the road in nine days. The players are looking forward to being in an elite environment and fulfilling their potential, Potter said.
“We’ve been working hard on keeping possession and getting pressure on the top half,” Clair said. “We’ve been getting better and better each day as a team and it’s really exciting to see.”
WSU is looking strong in their non-conference matches, holding a 6-2-1 record with a large contribution coming from underclassmen.
The WSU freshmen have a combined 43 starts this season and represent 30 percent of the Cougars’ points. Last week, freshman Beau Bremer was named Pac-12 Player of the Week with a game-winning overtime goal against Idaho.
“I applaud our new players for their enthusiasm and effort to learn new things and reinforce the things they already knew,” Potter said. “In terms of embracing the things that we’re trying to do, they’ve done an exceptional job.”