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Pilots Hold Off Cougars, 2-1

Oct. 5, 2006

PORTLAND, Ore. - No. 4 Portland scored two first half goals and held off a persistent Washington State squad for a 2-1 victory Thursday evening before a crowd of 2,146 at the Clive Charles Soccer Complex. Junior Natalie Budge assisted on teammate Rachael Rapinoe's opening goal and added the eventual game-winner to lead the Pilots.

Portland (10-2-1) has won seven consecutive games, but saw its shutout streak snapped at six games when Allison Scurich finished a cross from Anna Miller in the 49th minute to cut the deficit in half. The Cougars (5-4-2) had two quality chances to equalize late, but could not capitalize.

Portland All-America midfielder Megan Rapinoe left the field of play late in the first half with a left knee injury and did not return. Rapinoe, who was named to the 18-player U.S. National Team roster for Sunday's match against Iceland, will have further tests taken to determine the severity of the injury.

Rachael Rapinoe opened the scoring in the 29th minute, settling a cross from Budge that sailed over the glove tips of WSU keeper Amber Wittmers and finished to the open net from seven yards out.

Budge would tally her eighth goal of the season in the 40th minute, taking a short cross from freshman forward Michelle Enyeart and beating a Cougar defender before cutting a left-footed shot off the outstretched hand of Wittmers and just inside the right post. Enyeart has now recorded at least one point in all six games she has started.

Following Scurich's early second half strike, WSU kept applying the pressure and had a quality opportunity when Elysse Van Leer was left unmarked in the right side of the penalty box with 15 minutes remaining in regulation. Her 12-yard attempt was tipped over the crossbar by Portland goalie Cori Alexander.

With less than four minutes on the clock, the Cougars again threatened as Kiersten Dallstream was left one-v-one with Alexander after UP defender Kari Evans lost her footing. Dallstream got past Alexander, but three Pilot defenders had retreated towards the goal mouth. Dallstream's 12-yard attempt was deflected over the goal by senior midfielder Lisa Sari and the Pilots were able to stave off the threat.

Portland held a 10-7 shot edge for the match, while each team had three corner kicks. The WSU goal snapped a 637 minute shutout streak for the Pilots.

With its non-conference schedule now completed, Portland will open its West Coast Conference schedule this Sunday against Northwest rival Gonzaga. The Pilots and Bulldogs will meet at 11 a.m. at Martin Field.