EWU soccer downs Grambling State


Senior forward Allison Raniere performs a corner kick in the first half of EWU’s 2-1 victory over Grambling State on August 26. Raniere would later have the game winning goal | Jeremy Burnham for The Easterner.

By Jeremy Burnham, Managing Editor

For the first time this season, the EWU soccer team picked up a victory in regulation today at home against Grambling State.

Last week after a 1-0 victory in extra time against CSU Bakersfield, EWU head coach Chad Bodnar said he wanted to see his older players expect more from themselves. They heard him. EWU’s two goals today came from a pair of seniors.

“They’re answering the bell,” Bodnar said after today’s win. “Those kids always work hard, they are always going to compete and will always expect to win. And so, it was a good thing for us to see this weekend.

After Grambling went up 1-0 in 13thminute off of a free kick, EWU senior forward Devan Talley picked up a loose ball in the box, made her way through traffic, and fired a shot past GS goalkeeper Hanna Johnson for the equalizer. The goal was Talley’s first of the season.

Talley, who was injured in last year’s Big Sky Conference championship tournament, missed EWU’s first two games of the season, before returning to the lineup for Friday’s 1-1 draw against South Dakota.

“It was rough,” Talley said. “The ball was bouncing around, I thought, ‘it’s me or no one, so I better smash it in.’”

The Eagles’ second goal came in the 81st minute from senior forward Allison Raniere from an assist by freshman defender Mya Elder-Hammond. GS had cleared the ball to midfield where Elder-Hamond knocked it down. She sent a perfect pass to a streaking Raniere in the box. Raniere stayed onside, gained control of the ball on the right side of the goal, and sent the ball flying into the left side of the net.”

Once again, EWU outshot its opponent, as it has done every home game this season. EWU led in shots 15-8. Each team had five shots on goal.

Strong play by the midfielders and defenders in transition has helped limit EWU’s opponent’s scoring chances and shots. They are challenging players as they attempt to pass the ball upfield, and defenders are intercepting passes in the box and blocking shots before they reach the goalkeeper. A big part of this has been freshman defender Janae Lee.

Today, Lee broke up several GS plays. In the second half, she used her speed to track down a GS forward who had a break-away, one-on-one opportunity against EWU goalkeeper Kelsee Winston. Lee caught her from behind and knocked the ball away before the GS player could get a shot off.

Winston finished with four saves in the match.

“She [Winston] didn’t have to do a whole lot today, but what she had to do, she did well,” Bodnar said.

The Eagles now turn their attention to Boise State, who visits Cheney on August 31 at 4 p.m.

“Boise State is going to be a big game for us,” Talley said. “They are really good. I think we can really show our determination and pride through that game. Today was just a sneak peek to what we’re doing next week.”