EWU soccer on historic winning streak


Photo by Karissa Berg

Allison Raniere defends herself from an opponent.

By Brandon Cline, Sports Editor

Not one, not two, not three, not four, not five, not six, not seven: eight. Eight is the number of matches the EWU women’s soccer team have won in a row, including two home conference victories over the past weekend.

The Eagles squared off against the Sacramento State Hornets, fellow conference-unbeatens, who were 2-0 in conference and 4-6 overall on Oct. 2. The match was, for all intents and purposes, decided by halftime. The two-headed attack of sophomore forwards Savannah Hoekstra and Chloe Williams combined for three goals and two assists in the first half, with Hoekstra recording a brace in the first 25 minutes of the half.

“It was good to see Savannah get off the mark with her first and second goals of the year,” said head coach Chad Bodnar. “We talked this week and I told her that the goals are going to come. She was getting a little frustrated about not scoring, but she was setting up a lot of goals.”

Williams assisted on both of Hoekstra’s goals, and in the 30th minute recorded her ninth goal of the season. Her 22 points so far this season eclipse her 16 points in 17 matches last season, when she was selected onto the Big Sky First Team All-Conference, one of just two freshmen.

The Eagles’ offensive pressure was steady all match long, firing off 21 shots, 10 of which were on goal. Of the Hornets’ 15 shots just three were on goal, with the lone goal coming from Alyssa Anderson in the 88th minute, making the score 3-1, which went on to be the final score.

The Eagles’ next match on Oct. 4 against the Portland State Vikings, who were 1-2 in conference and 3-8 overall, would not be as smooth, though, where neither team spent much time in their attacking thirds. Much of the play in the first half was done near midfield, with the teams combining for just eight shots.

It was the Eagles who broke through in the last 30 seconds of the half when senior Tasha Luu fielded the ball off a deflection from the Vikings near midfield and beat the defense into the 18-yard box, firing a shot that found the upper-right corner of the net to give the Eagles a 1-0 lead.

As it turned out, Luu’s goal was all that the Eagles needed, recording their second clean sheet of the year. Goalkeeper Mallory Taylor finished with six saves — the most she’s had in a match since recording nine in a 2-1 win over Valparaiso on Sept. 11.

“We didn’t have our best first half but we dug in defensively and got our second shutout of the year and I am proud of our team and how they keep fighting and finding ways to get a win,” said Bodnar.

During their eight-match winning streak the Eagles have outscored opponents, 18-8, with six of the eight matches being decided by one goal.

What’s Next: The Eagles hit the road again after two home matches, traveling to Missoula to take on the Montana Grizzlies (1-2-1, 4-7-2) on Oct. 9. Following that match, EWU returns to Cheney for tilts against the Northern Arizona Lumberjacks on Oct. 16 and the Southern Utah Thunderbirds on Oct. 18.

Alexis Stephenson going for the goal.
Photo by Karissa Berg
Alexis Stephenson going for the goal.