SEATTLE – The Huskies battled with No. 24 Washington State for almost 80 minutes on Senior Day on Friday, hoping to keep their playoff hopes alive. But Washington State freshman Kaitlyn Johnson scored her first collegiate goal in the 79th minute to send Washington State to a 1-0 win over the Huskies, ending Washington’s chance of qualifying for the NCAA Tournament.
Johnson dribbled the ball down the left side on a Washington State counter-attack and crossed the ball into the right corner of the net to give the Cougars (14-3-3, 7-3-1 Pac-12) the lead late in the 2nd half. Despite four Washington shots on goal in the 2nd half, many of them late in the period, the Huskies (7-9-4, 3-4-3 Pac-12) were unable to get the equalizing goal.
“Finishing is tough to do,” head coach Lesle Gallimore said. “The toughest thing to do in soccer is to finish a goal…I’m disappointed for our seniors, because I think there are so many other things that they did that were positive. I thought we had the right game plan today. We created enough open chances to go ahead in this game, and when you’re pushing and you go three in the back, and they score on a counter, that’s what you leave yourself open to. But we weren’t playing to tie this game. We had to win this game.”
The Huskies honored their six seniors, all local athletes, prior to the match on Friday. The seniors are Allie Beahan of Sammamish, Wash., Lindsey Bos of Snohomish, Wash., Molly Boyd of Seattle, Wash., Lindsay Elston of Sammamish, Wash., Annie Sittauer of Everett, Wash., and Hillary Zevenbergen of Woodway, Wash.
Elston wraps up her Washington career 6th all-time in assists with 19 and tied for 8th all-time in goals with 19.
Gallimore said the senior class was a team-first group of players.
“They really took it on themselves to try bring young players in, to try to put them in the fold, and to try to be the players who would get us to the next level,” Gallimore said. “As a coach, I’m just disappointed for them. I’m sad for them that it ended like this and that they didn’t get more out of it in their last year, but if they look back at it as a whole experience, I hope they can say it was a positive one and that they enjoyed their time here.”