EWU soccer moves on to conference tournament

By TJ Moulton, Staff Writer

The Eagles’ women’s soccer team drew with the Big Sky champions Idaho Vandals on Oct. 30 and now turn their attention towards the Big Sky Soccer Championships from Nov. 5-8 in Moscow, Idaho, where they are the third-seeded team.

The Vandals were 9-0-0 coming into the match and had already clinched the Big Sky regular season champions crown, with the Eagles needing a victory to earn the second seed in the tournament and a first round bye.

After a scoreless first half in which both teams finished with five shots apiece, the Vandals got the scoring started in the 70th minute. Clara Gomez sent a ball into the box off of a corner kick, where Amanda Pease headed the ball into the net for a 1-0 Idaho lead.

In the 83rd minute, sophomore Chloe Williams delivered an equalizer in the box off an assist from redshirt sophomore Delaney Romero, her 11th goal of the season. The 11 goals are tied for the most goals in a single season in program history.

The match ended in a draw after neither team could connect on a game-winning goal in the two overtimes, denying the Vandals of a perfect Big Sky season.

“Today was a tough environment with weather, the surface of the field, and an opponent that has been on a roll through conference,” said head coach Chad Bodnar. “I think today was a great chance for us to play a playoff-type game on the field we will be playing on Thursday. I’m excited about our regular season and really excited about our chances next week.”

The Eagles ended the conference regular season with 20 points and a 6-2-2 record. Overall, the Eagles’ 12 wins in both conference and non-conference combined are a program record, with seven of those wins coming on the road.

The appearance in the conference tournament is the first time the Eagles have advanced to the conference tournament in back-to-back seasons since 2004-05. In 2014, the Eagles claimed the sixth and final seed of the tournament, losing to the third-seeded and eventual conference champion Northern Arizona Lumberjacks, 3-2, in the quarterfinals.

What’s Next: The Eagles will face off against the sixth-seeded Sacramento State Hornets in their first match of the tournament on Nov. 5. In the home matchup against the Hornets on Oct. 2, the Eagles scored three first half goals and comfortably won the match, 3-1. Kickoff is scheduled for 10 a.m. PST.