EWU falls to Montana in last regular season game


Anna Mills

Senior Cassie Black battles for the ball

By Elohino Theodore, Senior Reporter

The EWU soccer team will be seeded sixth in the Big Sky Conference and they will be competing in the postseason, for the first time since 2009, after losing to the University of Montana 1-0 on Senior Day, Oct. 31.

EWU recognized the team’s graduating seniors and their families before the match with flowers and framed photographs.

Goalkeeper Nathalie Schwery, right outside back Jessica Wallace, center back Kayla Sutter, forwards Katie Cashman and Cassie Black and midfielders Haley Stading, Marianne Johnson and Meghan Sorensen were the seniors honored for their time at Eastern.

Head soccer coach Chad Bodnar said he liked what he saw from his team despite the loss.

“[The team is] excited, and I think they played well,” said Bodnar. “Obviously, we didn’t get the result we wanted, but we played well against a really good team and I think we’ll bounce right back.”

Wallace said she appreciated Eastern’s effort against Montana.

“I think we played really hard, and we came out with a lot of heart,” said Wallace. “I think the momentum that we showed in this game, even though we didn’t get the right outcome is going to take us into the Big Sky tournament in a positive way.”

In the first half, both teams started out aggressive. Eastern had nine shots with three of those on goal while Montana finished with seven shots.

“We had more shots than them; we didn’t give up,” said Sutter. “Unfortunately, we just couldn’t find the back of the net, so if we just keep that energy and that determination in our next game, I think it’ll benefit us for sure.”

Wallace said the team was able to work together despite losing.

“Winning balls in the air, tracking, just working together I think, and having high work rate,” said Wallace.

The first half ended with both teams tied at zero.

In the second half, Montana had only three shots. Eastern ramped up their offense with seven shots; five of them were on goal.

The Eagles’ offense was not enough; the Grizzlies scored the only goal of the match in the 66th minute. Montana’s redshirt freshman midfielder Jamie Simon scored off an assist from her teammate senior midfielder Tyler Adair.

Sutter said Eastern simply could not defend the scored goal.

“It was a pretty good shot,” said Sutter. “It’s hard to stop something like that; it’s just unfortunate.“

Freshmen forwards Chloe Williams and Savannah Hoekstra and senior forward Cassie Black were among Eastern’s top performers. Williams and Hoekstra had four shots and one on-goal shot each. Black finished with three shots; two of those three were on goal.

Overall, the Eagles outshot the Montana Grizzlies 16-10. Eastern also finished the match with four saves and a total of five corner kicks. Montana had seven saves and three corner kicks.

Eastern finished their regular season with an overall .500 record of 8-8 and a Big Sky Conference record of 5-5. The Eagles also finished with a road record of 6-3. EWU will now play in the first round of the Big Sky Conference tournament against Northern Arizona University on Nov. 6.

“We’re going to try to be sharper on some of our set pieces,” said Bodnar. “We’re going to try and get healthy and get rejuvenated and make a run at it.”