SEATTLE – The Apple Cup soccer game between Washington and Washington state, scheduled for Friday, November 27, was canceled on Sunday because the Cougars didn’t have enough players with a purse due to positive COVID-19 testing and contact tracking.
The cancellation raises the possibility that the rivals in the state won’t play for the first time since 1944, though both schools hope to reschedule if an open date arises.
“After assessing the overall status of our football program, we remain below the minimum threshold of 53 available student athletes with scholarships and cannot predict a scenario that will allow us to reach that threshold by the end of the week,” said athletic director Pat Chun. , Washington State said.
The Pac-12 conference announced the cancellation, and under the policy, the game will be declared a non-match. But there may be potential options to play the end-of-season rivalry game if neither team gets into the Pac-12 championship game.
“This is one of the best rivalries in college sports and every year we circle this race at the start of the season,” said Jennifer Cohen, athletic director from Washington. “We will work with Pac-12 to prioritize this game and explore options for playing it if there is an open date for both schools down the road.”
This will be the second week in a row that the Cougars will not play and the second time this season, the Huskies have lost a match over concerns about the coronavirus with their opponent.
Washington State had its game at Stanford canceled on Saturday, Nov. 21, after four Cougars players landed in COVID-19 protocol on Friday, Nov. 20. That brought a total of nine players into the protocol as of Friday and in conjunction with injuries, Washington State fell. under the Pac-12 mandate to have 53 stock market players available.
The Cougars are 1-1. Their last game was a 43-29 defeat to Oregon on November 14.
Washington had canceled the season opener at Cal due to coronavirus issues with the Golden Bears. The Huskies – who defeated Arizona 44-27 on Saturday to improve to 2-0 – are expected to be aggressive in their search for a replacement game for this week.
The most logical option from a competitive and regional standpoint would be No. 8 BYU, which has no new game scheduled against San Diego state until December 12.
The Aztecs may also be an option for Washington, after their game against Fresno State scheduled for this week was also canceled on Sunday. Last week, the Pac-12 approved non-conference games if the opponent meets the conference’s requirements, including following Pac-12 testing and COVID-19 protocols.
Right now, Washington State’s next game is scheduled for December 4 at USC, while Washington will host Stanford on December 5.
“It’s heartbreaking and disappointing for our student athletes and coaches, as well as those at UW,” Chun said. “As we work through the rest of our schedule, we will continue to communicate with the Pac-12 Conference and UW should a scenario arise that would allow us to reschedule the game at a later point in the season.”