Houston, keep an eye on the pitches in Pullman, WA.
The Dash’s 2021 second round draft pick Makamae Gomera-Stevens may not be linking up with the team this season but she is impressing out West, as the midfielder finishes her senior year at Washington State University.
There were just seconds to go before half time, on Friday evening, when Kelsee Winston valiantly hurled herself through the air. An all together gallant and athletic effort by the Eastern Washington University goalkeeper, but alas, it was futile.
A ballistic blob of neon yellow had just been sanctioned by the right foot of Gomera-Stevens, and there was seemingly nothing anyone in the Pacific Northwest could do to keep it out of the net. The strike was like a wave, coming towards the shore. Inevitable. The ball rose, calm and pure, before crashing against the post and resting in its natural home.
Gomera-Stevens’ decisive goal, in the 44th minute, gave WSU an all important 2-1 lead. The Cougars would eventually go on to win 4-1 over their intrastate rivals. An early penalty kick, from Madison Kem, had initially given EWU a surprise lead, but it only lasted three minutes before Grayson Lynch brought the Cougars level.
Second half goals, from Elyse Bennet and Margie Detrizio, then added to the ascendency that Gomera-Stevens had provided before the break. The win continues WSU’s perfect start to their 2021 Spring season. WSU, and the entire Pac12 conference, had their Fall schedule cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
More of an attacking role in 2021?
Gomera-Stevens’ emphatic strike was her first of the season, but the attacking midfielder has started in both of WSU matches to begin their 2021 slate. She played the full 90 minutes in their opener, against Seattle University, taking one shot. Gomera-Stevens then played 78 minutes against EWU on Friday evening, taking three shots on target and scoring one goal.
Last season Gomera-Stevens averaged 0.86 shots on target per 90 minutes, scoring five goals in total. It is definitely too early to make an accurate judgement, but she is currently on pace to more than double her on target shooting average.
Could this be that head coach Todd Shulenberger is requiring Gomera-Stevens to take on more of the team’s attacking responsibility? We will have to wait and see.