EWU soccer plays to 1-1 draw


Senior forward Allison Raniere heads the ball against South Dakota on August 24 | Jeremy Burnham for The Easterner

By Jeremy Burnham, Managing Editor

For the second home match in a row, the EWU soccer team completely outplayed its opponent in every aspect the game, except the score. The Eagles led the University of South Dakota in shots 24-6 and shots-on-goal 12-2, but the two teams played to a 1-1 draw after 110 minutes of play today.

The Eagles are now 1-1-1 on the season, after losing a rescheduled match last Monday to Seattle University in Seattle. That match was supposed to be played in Cheney on Sunday, but air quality classified as “hazardous” by the Spokane Clean Air Agency made moving the game necessary.

Today, the air quality was classified as “unhealthy for everyone,” but the game went on as scheduled.

The Eagles controlled the ball and the pace from the start. Sophomore forward Emma Vanderhyden had the game’s first shot in the fourth minute, but USD goalkeeper Parker Rytz made her first of 11 saves of the match. Rytz’s stellar play is the main reason her team didn’t leave Cheney with a loss today.

The Eagles stayed on the attack for the rest of the first half finishing with 11 shots, with five of them on goal.

Defensively, EWU was solid, breaking up most passes sent near the goal. The backline challenged players as USD attempted to setup plays, and defenders cut in between passing lanes. USD managed only two shots in the half, and only one on goal. The first half ended scoreless.

EWU Sophomore midfielder Sariah Keister plays the ball before before taking a shot against South Dakota on August 24 | Jeremy Burnham for The Easterner

Sophomore midfielder/forward Sariah Keister was a bright spot for the Eagles in the first half. Keister, one of EWU’s returning players who did not play much in 2017, looks to be one of the offensive leaders of the squad this year. She was pivotal in transition for the Eagles, delivered solid passes near the goal to setup up her teammates with shot opportunities and had four of her team’s first-half shots.

EWU sophomore forward McKaley Goffard opened the second half with a shot on goal 37 seconds after play began, but Rytz made an easy save.

In the 53rdminute, USD’s Kellee Willer launched a shot that went wide, but found its way to Amanda Carpio, who put it into the back of the net beating EWU goalkeeper Kelsee Winston. That was USD’s second and final shot-on-goal of the game.

EWU would get the equalizer in the 76thminute by senior midfielder Jenny Chavez. The ball was sent into the box from a pass just inside midfield, and bounced around until finding Chavez in front of an open net. A diving Rytz could not get there in time, and the game was tied.

The two extra-time periods resembled a game of keep away. Neither team had a shot-on-goal, or any real scoring chances. EWU did have one shot in each of the 10-minute periods.

EWU head coach Chad Bodnar was optimistic after the game.

“There’s a lot of bright spots that I take out of today,” Bodnar said. “While we’re trying to blend in some younger players who played a lot of minutes for us, we actually had Devan [Talley] back today and she had a great game for us. I think the final piece is what’s missing right now, and that’s in front of the goal.”

The Eagles are making the most of these non-conference games to get a lot of playing time to newcomers and returners who did not play much last year. EWU lost 10 players to graduation last season.

The Eagles will return to field Sunday morning at 10 a.m. to take on Grambling State in Cheney. Admission is free.