#38 Washington State Women's Soccer 2013 Preview

Washington State Cougars

Overall Rank: #38
Conference Rank: #5 Pac-12
#38 Washington State Women's Soccer 2013 Preview
Washington State Team Page


The Washington State Cougars look to build off last year’s run to the NCAA Tournament, which ended in an epic first-round battle with the University of Portland. The Pilots advanced by winning in penalty kicks. However, the foundation for a tough-minded, exciting brand of soccer was squarely in place under then first-year head coach Keidane McAlpine. McAlpine, is in his second season after taking over long-time coach Matt Potter who left for the University of Oklahoma. The Cougars are looking for their third consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance in 2013.

2012 Record:  12-6-2, 6-4-1
2012 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Keidane McAlpine

The Cougars have a go-to goal scorer in senior Micalea Castain. Castain scored a team-leading 11 goals in 2012 and was huge when her team needed her most late in matches. Castain led the Cougars with five game-winning goals last season as well.  Junior Jocelyn Jeffers will be another key to the Cougar attack, as the graduation of Brandi Vega will provide an opportunity to step up and become that other potential double-figure goal scorer to keep opposing defenses honest. In goal, Gurveen Clair, a red-shirt junior, appeared in 16 matches and had four shutouts to go along with a 0.98 goals against average. Clair’s experience will be important in anchoring the backline for the Cougars.

The Washington State defense will need to tighten up in order to move forward and go deeper in the NCAA Tournament. They will need to cut down the amount of shots on frame, as their percentage allowed in 2012 was 45 percent. The Cougars need to get that percentage down closer to 40 percent. This will allow the team to play more freely and not have the feeling they need to get into 3-2 type of shootout match like they did at Cal and Stanford a year ago. The next question to answer is finding a third goal scorer to compliment Castain and Jeffers. The top candidate for that is sophomore forward Kourtney Guetlein, who was a great playmaker coming off the bench in 2012 with a pair of goals and five assists. If Guetlein can get that goal number up towards the five to seven range that will be a huge bonus for the Cougar attack.

Final Projection:  
The Cougars have a tough schedule in 2013 starting with in-state rival Seattle and a tough six-match road swing that will go a long way in deciding the direction of their season. Oklahoma State and UC Irvine, two programs that have been regulars in the NCAA Tournament in recent years, are also non-conference opponents. Then the conference slate opens with three straight at Oregon, UCLA, and USC, which are all challenging environments to play in. The ability to defend on the backline during this road stretch will be a key difference maker in getting results for Washington State. The Cougars have a good foundation of talent in place with a senior leader in Castain and an experienced goalie with Clair. Washington State should make plenty of noise in 2013 and be a postseason team once again.

Projected Postseason: NCAA

Returning Leaders:
Goals: Micalea Castain, Senior, Forward, 11
Assists: Kourtney Guetlein, sophomore, Forward, 5
Shots: Jocelyn Jeffers, Junior, Forward, 42
Saves: Gurveen Clair, Redshirt junior, Goalkeeper, 46


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