The WSU women started last fall with a school record of 10-straight victories, and became the final undefeated and untied team in the country.
Behind the athleticism and talent of players such as Maddy Haro, Morgan Weaver, and Rachel Young, Washington State achieved its highest national ranking in 30 years at number seven and finished the 2018 season with 13 wins, one off from the program record of 14.
“We’re an exciting team, one of the most athletic teams at WSU and in the conference, with a ton of speed,” says fourth-year head coach Todd Shulenberger. He came to WSU in 2015 from Texas Tech to take a rising team to the next level.
The team’s top scorer, senior Morgan Weaver from Tacoma, helped bring the Cougs to their seventh NCAA Tournament appearance in the last eight seasons, where they advanced to the second round against top seed Georgetown.
Weaver finished last season with a career-best 13 goals, third most in the Pac-12 and twentieth in the country. She secured four game-winners, including the winning goal against then-number eight UCLA to begin Pac-12 play. At the end of the season, she scored a hat trick against the University of Washington.
Weaver gives a lot of credit to her teammates for the success, noting their close relationship and support. “If anyone needs anything, we’ll be there for you. We want the best for each other,” she says.
That’s not to say they shouldn’t challenge each other, says Shulenberger. “I’m not a guy that’s going to sit around and give leadership quotes. You create leadership on the field and off,” he says.
This fall, team leaders like Weaver and returning goalkeeper Ella Dederick will push the squad, including both returners and some exciting freshman athletes, to all pursue more goals and assists—and, of course, a Pac-12 championship and beyond.
Shulenberger wants to make sure the Cougs don’t rest on their 2018 laurels: “I hope it keeps the team hungry and that there’s more that they want to achieve.”
More on WSU Soccer at the WSU Athletics website.