EWU women’s soccer downs Central Washington in spring friendly

Sophomore+forward+Sariah+Keister+pursues+the+ball+in+EWU+soccer%27s+4%E2%80%930+win+over+Central+Washington+on+April+28.+Keister+scored+the+Eagles%27+second+goal+of+the+game.+%7C+Bailey+Monteith+for+The+Easterner

Sophomore forward Sariah Keister pursues the ball in EWU soccer’s 4–0 win over Central Washington on April 28. Keister scored the Eagles’ second goal of the game. | Bailey Monteith for The Easterner

By Jeremy Burnham, Copy Editor

The EWU women’s soccer team defeated Central Washington University 4–0 in its only home game of the spring schedule on April 28.

“Anytime we get to play [in Cheney] on a nice field is great,” EWU head coach Chad Bodnar said.

The Eagles controlled the game from the start. Early in the first half, junior forward Saige Lyons received a pass on a break and maneuvered around two Wildcat defenders to the right of the goal. CWU’s goalkeeper attempted to play the ball, and Lyons delivered a pass across the goal. No one received the pass, but it was EWU’s first real home scoring chance of the spring.

Minutes later, senior forward Allison Raniere sent the ball into the back of the net to put the Eagles up 1–0.

A goal by sophomore forward Sariah Keister extended EWU’s lead to 2–0.

The Wildcats had their first and only shot on goal late in the first half, but EWU junior goalkeeper Hadley Bezon made the save. It was the only save needed by a trio of Eagle goalkeepers looking to replace former starter Emily Busselman, whom the team lost to graduation after last season.

Bezon got the start and was followed in goal by junior Ryann Rydeen and sophomore Kelsee Winston.

Despite the limited pressure the goalkeepers faced, Bodnar said he liked what he saw from the trio.

“Goalkeepers usually only see a few shots in a game anyway,” said Bodnar. “It was good for other reasons. It was good for playing with their feet, possession, organizing and doing that stuff well. Even though they didn’t get tested a lot, they still got the minutes, and I think that’s the important part.”

The Eagles controlled the ball throughout most of the second half. CWU’s possessions were short and rare as EWU midfielders and defenders did not allow the Wildcats to move the ball past midfield very often.

After the game, Bodnar said he was pleased, but not surprised, with the offensive effort of his team, which lost 10 players to graduation after last season.

“We knew we had players that we had brought in last year who did not play very much, but who are very good players,” said Bodnar. “And that’s always our goal […] We have a lot of talent and potential that is young, and we return a really good senior class as well, with Jenny [Chavez], Devan [Talley], Allison [Raniere] and those kids. So, we lost a lot, but we gained a lot too, so we are positive and looking forward for what’s to come in the fall.”

Peter Showler joins Eagles

Also joining the Eagles this season is Peter Showler, who was hired as the new associate head coach on April 26. Showler has 33 years of coaching experience, including 10 years as the head coach of the University of Idaho women’s soccer team.

“I am chuffed to bits to be offered the opportunity to work with Chad, the players and the Eagle staff,” Showler said in a news release. “What Chad has achieved in his tenure at Eastern Washington, the standards he, his staff and the players have set is top notch. My role is to come in, complement this and continue to help build on the great Eagle legacy that has been created, and I’m extremely excited for this opportunity.”