With two wins, women’s soccer remains in first place in the Big Sky


By Jeremy Burnham, Staff Reporter

Chloe Williams tied the Big Sky Conference’s all-time goal record as EWU picked up six points over the weekend. The BSC leading Eagles defeated Portland State University 3-0 on Friday, Oct 13, and the University of Montana 1-0 on Sunday. Oct 15.

Friday’s match against PSU was a battle for first place in the BSC. EWU was one point ahead of the Vikings. On paper, this was projected to be a very competitive match. On the field, however, it was a one-sided affair. The Eagles outplayed PSU throughout the entire game. Offensively, EWU put nonstop pressure on PSU senior goalkeeper Abbie Faingold. In all, the Eagles finished with 25 shots, 17 of which came in the second half. Of those 25 shots, 10 of them were on goal.

The Eagles were even better defensively. EWU goaltender Emily Busselman posted what will go down as her easiest shutout ever. The senior faced no shots on goal the entire game and finished with no saves. The Vikings were held to zero shots in the first half, and only managed two shots on in the second half. The resulting 25-2 shot deficit was too much for the Vikings to overcome.

The highlight of the match was EWU’s first goal. On a free kick, senior defender M’Kenna Hayes kicked a perfect pass inside to junior midfielder Jenny Chavez. Chavez was able to head the ball into the back of the net.

Williams’ goal came in the 48th minute of the match. It was goal number 39 of her career, tying the conference record held by former Idaho State forward Amanda Ellsworth. The goal was unassisted. Williams dribbled past a defender, and beat Faingold.

The scoring was wrapped up by EWU senior midfielder Aimie Inthoulay, with Hayes picking up her second assist of the game.

As good as the offense was, this game was about the defense. Freshman defender Grace Klinkenberg said the defensive success was a team effort.

“Defensively, I work with a bunch of great girls,” said Klinkenberg. “Everyone works together collectively. We work together really well as a team.”

EWU head coach Chad Bodnar was very pleased with his team’s overall effort.

“Today was a complete performance from back to front,” said Bodnar. “I really liked how we continued to score late into the second half. There were chances that we could’ve put in, but to score a goal late in the first half and score two in the second half is something I’m proud of. We kept the motor going.”

For PSU, the loss dropped them out of second place. The new second place team, UM, visited Cheney on Sunday.

17 seconds into the game, EWU senior forward Delaney Romero took a shot that got deflected off a defender, and into the goal. This gets recorded as a “self-goal” against UM.

After the self-goal, there would be 89 minutes and 43 seconds of scoreless soccer played. UM was able to outshoot EWU 15-6, but could not get anything past Busselman, who picked up another shutout. Busselman finished with seven saves.

Williams was held scoreless. She will now have three more chances to break the record, all on the road.

While the Eagles are not used to being outshot, Bodnar was just happy to be able to escape with a win against a very good UM team.

“It was a different kind of result for us today, obviously,” said Bodnar. “I have to credit Montana, they came out with a lot of energy. We started the match well in the first minute and put some pressure on the backs and ended up getting that goal, which was a huge lift for us. I would say that the next 44 minutes, Montana took it to us in the attacking third. Credit to our backline for staying stingy during that period. We played a lot better in the second half, but still had to lock it down defensively as there were a lot of balls played into our box.”

The game was the final home regular season game of the season; it may be the last time EWU’s 10 seniors step foot on their home field. The Eagles have three away games remaining, and if they are able to hold on to first place, they will host the BSC championship tournament. Their next game is on Friday, Oct 20, at Idaho State at 3 p.m.