EWU women’s soccer defeats Montana for first-ever postseason win

By Brandon Cline, Sports Editor

After falling to the Montana Grizzlies just five days earlier, the EWU women’s soccer team exacted their revenge in the quarterfinals of the Big Sky Soccer Championships.

The Eagles ousted their rivals 1-0 for their first postseason win in program history, thanks to a goal by two-time Big Sky Offensive MVP Chloe Williams as well as a stingy effort by the EWU defense.

Williams corralled a pass from junior Savannah Hoekstra just outside the penalty box, maneuvered past her defender before driving her shot past another Grizzlies defender and goalkeeper into the lower right corner of the net. It was Williams’s fifteenth goal of the season and the only goal in the match, even as Montana recorded seven shots on goal to EWU’s three.

EWU advanced to the Big Sky Championship semifinals after beating Montana
Brad Brown
EWU advanced to the Big Sky Championship semifinals after beating Montana

“It was what we were looking for,” said head coach Chad Bodnar. “We wanted to counter on Montana and make sure we weren’t spread wide open. [Hoekstra] played a great ball, a 45-yard one across the field, and saw Chloe. Those two have played together for a long time, and it was a great pass from [Hoekstra] and good finish from Chloe.”

Senior goalkeeper Mallory Taylor recorded seven saves in a strong defensive performance for the Eagles, her sixth shutout of the season. EWU’s defense was also anchored by junior M’Kenna Hayes, an All-Big Sky First Team selection this season.

This is the first postseason victory in program history, defeating the team that beat them 3-2 in the regular season finale to earn a higher seed in the conference tournament.

“There was no way we were letting them beat us twice, especially on our home field,” said Williams. “This is when it really matters, so we knew we just had to get over the last game and give it all we had today, which we did.”

The Eagles advance to the semifinals where they take on the Big Sky regular season champions, the Idaho Vandals. The Eagles beat the Vandals at home in overtime this season 2-1 on a game-winning penalty kick by Williams.