Players exchanged hugs and consoled one another as the realization their season was finished set in. The Washington women’s soccer team needed a win today against Washington State to have a chance at a spot in the postseason, and left Husky Soccer Stadium with a 0-0 draw.
The shutout was redshirt senior goalkeeper Sarah Shimer’s eleventh of the season, and her first since the Huskies (9-8-3, 2-6-3 Pac-12) beat Oregon almost a month ago.
“They’ve got some talented forwards up front, and I thought our backline kept them in check,” head coach Lesle Gallimore said. “They didn’t really get a ton of dangerous shots and Sarah didn’t have to make any difficult saves.”
Neither team had a shot on frame in 110 minutes of play.
Sophomore forward Morgan Weaver could have had the game-winning goal for the visiting Cougars (9-7-3, 4-6-1 Pac-12) at the end of the first overtime. Her shot made it past Shimer but rolled just outside the right post.
This came directly after a missed call when redshirt sophomore defender Taylor Sekyra tripped up freshman forward Elyse Bennett. Players actually stopped running momentarily expecting a call, but there was no whistle as the ball rolled to Weaver’s feet.
Washington State’s coaching staff was screaming at the referee, as it thought that was the second time on back-to-back possessions a UW defender should have been carded for a missed tackle. When two of their own players each received a yellow card for missed tackles afterwards, the Cougar coaches were even more irate.
But while the Cougars will exit disappointed with the draw, they will likely be headed to the NCAA tournament thanks to key wins, including one over previously-unbeaten UCLA.
For the Huskies, who entered with a five-game losing streak, the ending was a microcosm of their season. Their offense, the familiar culprit, failed to deliver.
“We didn’t have the 10, 12, 13-goal scorer, so the goals were going to have to be scored by committee,” Gallimore said. “And we didn’t get enough of them.”
Knowing how crucial this game was, Washington played the first half as the aggressor. Multiple players made continuously made runs into the box and the Huskies were better as a team connecting passes around the field than they had recently.
Redshirt senior Amanda Perez and freshman Olivia Van der Jagt, in her first start at forward, had chances in the first half near the post, but they were unable to control the ball enough to get a clean look.
However the second half began with three WSU corner kicks, and the Huskies lacked the same precision on their passes and touches they had in the opening 45 minutes.
In the 53rd minute, the game went silent when senior defender Dominique Bond-Flasza went down awkwardly when she tried to make a play on the ball. The four-year starter was helped by trainers off the field, unable to put any weight on her right leg.
For Bond-Flasza and the other eight seniors, their faces after the final whistle told the whole story as their college careers ended.
“The whole lot of them left a great legacy of hard work and great soccer behind them,” Gallimore said. “These last few weeks have been a struggle for us, but I can’t fault the effort of any of the players.”
Reach reporter Aaron Huang at email@example.com. Twitter: @aaron_c_huang