Chloe Williams Sets Big Sky Points Record as Eagles Primed to Begin Conference Play

By Michael Brock, Sports Editor

Eastern Washington University women’s soccer senior forward Chloe Williams’ trophy case acquired another accolade over the weekend, as if it weren’t jam-packed enough. The two-time Big Sky Conference (BSC) Offensive Play of the Year led the BSC in points (36), goals (15), shots (97), shots on goal (46) and game-winning goals (six) a season ago. She is also the all-time EWU leader and counting in points (91) and goals (36).

On Sunday against Fairleigh Dickinson University (FDU), Williams notched yet another record. But let’s set the scene first.

In the 17th minute of the 90-minute match in Cheney, FDU’s freshman forward Sofia Albertsson scored the first goal, giving her team a 1-0 advantage. But Williams, as she often does, answered back just a minute later with a goal of her own on a pass from senior forward Savannah Hoekstra to tie the match at one apiece.

The equalizer was a moment in history for Williams and EWU. With the goal, the senior forward broke the Big Sky record for career points at 89.

Williams expressed her emotions after the match: “It means a lot… It feels good, but I couldn’t have done it without my teammates and coaches.”

She wasn’t done just quite yet.

Less than two minutes later, Williams gave the Eagles a 2-1 lead, this goal off a shot from the top of the box. Her two scores on the day give her a career total of 36, which is tied for second in all-time goals in Big Sky history.

Eastern led 2-1 headed into halftime as they were outshooting FDU 7-3.

After the break, in the 60th minute, FDU’s junior forward Elma Kolenovic scored with a goal off an assist from senior midfielder Dara Battistoni, which tied the game at two. Williams had a chance to be the hero in the 63rd minute, but the goalkeeper saved her shot on goal.

Then with three minutes remaining in the match (86 minute), junior midfielder Devan Talley took a pass from senior forward Delaney Romero and knocked in the game-winning goal. In the 3-2 victory, EWU outshot FDU 16-6, while also having more shots on goal (9-4) and corner kicks (6-2). The Eagles have outshot their opponent each game this season.

The win marked the second in a row for the women’s soccer team, who beat Nevada 4-0 last Friday. They also improve to an overall record of 6-4, including 5-1 at home. The team has notched wins over Omaha, South Dakota, Cornell, Gonzaga, Nevada and Fairleigh Dickinson this season, while they have come up short against San Jose State, Air Force, Hofstra and California State University, Northridge.

Eastern is the reigning BSC Tournament Champions and were the top-ranked team in the BSC Preseason Soccer Poll. They return nine starters from last year, including all-conference First-Team members Williams, Jenny Chavez and M’Kenna Hayes, along with honorable mentions Romero and Aimie Inthoulay.

EWU will open up Big Sky Conference play with a two-game home stand next week against Sacramento State (Friday, Sept. 22 at 3:00 p.m.) and Northern Arizona (Sunday, Sept. 24 at noon).

“We start off with two tough teams here at home and each game is going to present its own set of challenges. This conference is becoming a better and better soccer conference, so we know we want to be on the right foot going into conference play,” said Eagle head coach Chad Bodner.

“We wanted to get our momentum going because we’ve been back and forth this non-league slate. We’ve gone through tough things as a team and hopefully this gets us going in the right direction.”