Thompson first Washington State keeper to earn assist since ’15

September 12, 2018

Rachel Thompson soccer

Rachel Thompson

Nikiski’s Rachel Thompson made her debut with the Washington State University women’s soccer team and became the first goalkeeper in three years to register a point.

The junior transfer was subbed into the game in the 73rd minute and four minutes later punted the ball 60 yards in the air that led to a goal in a 3-0 win over the University of Idaho in NCAA D1 action in Pullman, Washington.

“I know I have to hit the ball as hard as I can,” Thompson said in a school video about the game. “And it went all the way down the field.”

Thompson, of Nikiski High fame, also made a save in her 17 minutes in net.

She came to Washington State last year after a superb two-year career at Highline Community College. She sat out last season as a redshirt.

She was excited to close out the fifth straight win for the Cougars and her adrenaline was pumping when she booted the ball 60 yards.

“It was awesome. I haven’t played in two years, so a little bit of nerves, but it was great to be back on the pitch do my thing,” Thompson said.

The goal was set up after Thompson kicked the ball from the goal line well beyond the midfield line, where it was corralled in traffic by teammate Hailey Smith, who outran two defenders before juking another defender and beating the Idaho keeper with a right-side rocket.

Watching the ball go into the back of the net triggered a big smile from Thompson.

“And the celebration was on,” she said.

Thompson is the first Cougar goalkeeper to record an assist since Ella Dederick on Nov. 5, 2015 against Washington.