Greely, Col. – The Eastern Washington University soccer team faced current second place Big Sky Conference holder Northern Colorado this evening, Friday, Oct. 23, in what would end in a double overtime 2-2 draw. The end result will send Eastern to the Big Sky Conference tournament regardless of how the rest of the season plays out.
The Eagles now hold a current overall record of 11-3-2 and 5-2-1 in the Big Sky Conference. The Bears hold a record of 11-6-1 overall and 6-1-1 in conference play.
UNC scored two quick goals in the first half of play, leading EWU at the half 2-0. Eastern responded with shot from sophomore Lexi Klinkenberg off of a rebound from the defense in the 61st minute, recording her first goal as an Eagle. Still behind 2-1, freshman Aimie Inthoulay blasted a shot into the back of the net to even the score in the 70th minute, recording her first goal of the season as well. The score would remain tied into the two overtime periods.
Sophomore Chloe Williams was eager to score but unable to finish this match, recording 12 shots and two shots on goal. Williams has now recorded 80 shots overall this season. Sophomore Savannah Hoekstra recorded two shots, both of which were on goal. Freshman Devan Talley also recorded 2 shots on the night.
Junior goalkeeper Mallory Taylor recorded five saves during the match.
Each team recorded a heavy number of fouls in this aggressive match, Eastern recording 13 to Northern Colorado's 16. Eastern outshot the Bears 20-16. Eastern had six shots on goal while UNC had seven.
Quoting Coach Bodnar
"We had to have a gut check at half time. Things have been tough and haven't come easy right now so we had to have a talk at the half about what we were about as a team. We went down two goals early in the first half in a tough environment but made them back. I'm extremely proud of these athletes and how they played with heart and passion. Going into Sunday we are trying to get the best seed we can into the Conference Tournament. We are trying to win every game but to come on the road and respond to a 2-0 lead in the first half, it's something that we need to build on and something that I'm really proud of because they played their hearts out. It's tough to look at the traveling that we have to do this week but we know that we need to get the win on Sunday. Now we just have to regroup and play hard. It's that time of the year when ball's go off of cross bars and hearts get broken or people are extremely happy and this is the time that we work for. We just want to build and be the best that we can be going into the tournament."
Tweet of the Game
With tonight's tie, Eastern has clinched a spot in the Big Sky Conference Championships. This is the first time in program history that Eastern has made the Big Sky Conference tournament in back to back seasons since they earned bids in 2004 and 2005.
Eastern will host it's final home game of the season, celebrating their seniors on Sunday, Oct. 25, against North Dakota. Kickoff is set for 1:00 p.m. PST.