Cheney, Wash. – With only three Big Sky Conference matches left, the Eastern Washington University soccer team has two key contests this week, playing at Northern Colorado this Friday, Oct. 23, at 6 p.m. PST before returning home to face North Dakota on Sunday, Oct. 25., at 1 p.m. PST.
The Eagles earned a split this past week, topping Northern Arizona, 4-2, last Friday, Oct. 16, and falling to Southern Utah, 1-0, on Sunday, Oct. 18. Despite sitting in the top three in the conference standings, the defeat to SUU prevented Eastern from clinching a spot in the Big Sky Tournament.
Idaho and Northern Colorado have already earned their spots in the conference tournament, while Idaho State has been mathematically eliminated.
EWU's victory over the Lumberjacks was due to Eastern's high-powered offense during the entire match. Eastern started strong in the first half of the match, recording early goals from freshman Jenny Chavez and sophomore Chloe Williams. The Eagles solidified their dominance in the first half when sophomore Delaney Romero scored Eastern's third goal of the night in the final seconds. Senior Tasha Luu would secure Eastern's victory, recording its fourth goal of the night early in the second half. Northern Arizona scored two goals late in the second half, but was unable to overcome the Eagles' start.
Eastern seemed unable to finish a shot during their match against Southern Utah, leading the Thunderbirds in shots, 20-12, but unable to even the score. After a back-and-forth first half, the Thunderbirds had their breakthrough, scoring in the 49th minute to take a 1-0 advantage. Sophomore Chloe Williams came close to scoring immediately after, hitting the crossbar from 25 yards out. Eastern kept up the pressure, peppering SUU's goal with eight shots over the final 10 minutes, but none would find the back of the net as the visitors secured the upset victory.
After last week's matches, Northern Colorado is currently in second place in the Big Sky Conference standings and North Dakota is in 10th. Eastern is currently ranked third in the Big Sky conference for number of goals, goals per game, and shots. Defensively, the Eagles are ranked third in goals allowed and goals against.