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The unpredictable and bizarre beginning to the Nebraska soccer team’s 2018 rolled on Friday night, and unfortunately for the Huskers, they found themselves on the wrong side of the outcome.

The Huskers once again dominated the run of play and the stat line, but statistics can’t stop late rallies. Nebraska (3-1-1) led for most of the game after a goal midway through the first half, but two second-half goals by No. 18 Washington State gave the Cougars a 2-1 win, handing the Huskers their first loss of the season.

“We felt we outplayed them, but there were just two moments we let slip through our fingers,” NU senior forward Savanah Uveges said. “We just have to look forward to the next one now.”

Uveges got the scoring started after she was taken down in the box and awarded a penalty kick. She casually converted for her team-leading third goal of the season, and her second from the penalty spot this season.

The Huskers continued to pressure Washington State’s defense while finding tons of space in the midfield to create chances. They ended up outshooting the Cougars 7-2 in the first half, but their inability to build on their lead ultimately cost the Huskers the game.

Elyse Bennett equalized for Washington State in the 54th minute after a costly Husker turnover in their final third led to open space for her. She rifled a shot from 20 yards out that beat a sprawling Aubrei Corder in goal. It was the first goal allowed in three matches for the Huskers.

Washington State’s Alysha Overland gave the Cougars the lead 10 minutes later after another defensive lapse by the Huskers gave her space in the box and she slid a shot past Corder.

“Coming in at half up 1-0, we had a lot of confidence, but we can’t just play 45 minutes, we need to play 90,” defender Caroline Buelt said. “I think that’s something where we need to push through and finish games. There were just some down moments and we didn’t respond the way we want to.”

The Huskers now face a grueling five-game road trip beginning at 7 p.m. Sunday against Baylor in Waco, Texas. Nebraska will face two ranked opponents over the five-game stretch, while the Bears are just on the cusp of the rankings.

Reach the writer at 402-473-7431 or scarlson@journalstar.com.

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