Pocatello, Idaho – Sophomore Chloe Williams scored what would be the game-winner with just three minutes left Sunday afternoon, Sept. 27, lifting the Eastern Washington University soccer team past Idaho State, 3-2.
The victory, EWU's sixth straight, completed a perfect 2-0 start to Big Sky Conference play for just the second time in school history and the first time since the 2009 season.
Eastern improves to 8-1-1 overall and 2-0 in league play while Idaho State falls to 1-9-1 overall and 0-2 in conference matches with the defeat.
The Eagles twice held one-goal advantages on the day, the first coming after freshman Allison Raniere's goal in the ninth minute followed by a strike from freshman Jenny Chavez in the 57th minute. ISU was able to respond each time, however, eventually tying the score at 2-2 on a goal in the 65th minute.
EWU remained on the attack, peppering the Bengals' goal with attempts that kept ISU goalkeeper Sheridan Hapsic on her toes. The breakthrough finally came in the 87th minute as Williams beat two defenders, then fired across the cage into the lower left corner of the net.
Williams paced Eastern's offensive attack, getting off eight shots, four of which were on goal.
Raniere, Chavez and sophomore Delaney Romero tallied two shots apiece.
The Eagles outshot Idaho State, 18-14, and finished with 10 shots on target to the Bengals' six. Both teams finished with four corner kicks, respectively.
A fairly physical match, ISU was called for 14 fouls while EWU committed 12 infractions.
Quoting Coach Bodnar
"It was a great weekend for us, and for our athletic department as a whole. Winning two on the road to start conference play is something we're very proud of. We had a few things go against us today in the early going, but our team fought as they have all year and scored some great goals. We had to answer the bell twice today after allowing goals, and we did that. We're extremely proud of our group and our entire department on the wins this weekend."
Eastern has matched last season's win total with eight victories, needing just 10 matches to reach that mark. The program record for wins in a season is nine, set back in 2007.
Williams now has three game-winning goals so far this season, the most of any EWU player. She has scored eight goals in 10 matches, surpassing her total of six goals last season.
The Eagles welcome Sacramento State to Cheney for their Big Sky home opener this Friday, Oct. 2. Kickoff is set for 3 p.m. PST.