EWU soccer move into tie for final postseason spot

Senior+Allison+Raniere+kicks+the+ball+during+Sunday%27s++victory+over+Idaho+State.+Raniere+was+one+of+five+seniors+recognized+during+senior+day.+%7C+Bailey+Monteith+for+The+Easterner

Bailey Monteith

Senior Allison Raniere kicks the ball during Sunday’s victory over Idaho State. Raniere was one of five seniors recognized during senior day. | Bailey Monteith for The Easterner

By Jeremy Burnham, Managing Editor

In early November, the top six Big Sky Conference soccer squads will meet in Ogden, Utah for the BSC championship tournament. Whether or not EWU—the winner of the latest two editions of the tournament—will be among the six teams is still up in the air.

EWU entered the season on top of the BSC preseason coaches’ poll despite losing 10 players to graduation from last year. This forced head coach Chad Bodnar to play a lot of younger players. Injuries pushed additional inexperienced players on to the field.

This has all led to some growing pains for the Eagles, who last week found themselves out of playoff position as the end of the season approaches.

BSC standings use a point system. Teams get three points for a win and one for a draw. The six teams with the most points at the end of the season advance to the postseason.

EWU entered last weekend in eighth place with four points. The Eagles then lost to first-place Weber State 1-0 on Friday, and beat last-place Idaho State 8-1 on Sunday.

With sixth-place Sacramento State losing twice over the weekend, and seventh-place Montana drawing twice, the Eagles now find themselves in a tie for sixth place with UM with seven points each. Sac State has dropped to eighth place with six points.

EWU finishes its season on the road, with games against second-place Northern Arizona on Friday and ninth-place Southern Utah on Sunday.

If two teams end the season tied, the first tie breaker used is head to head results between the two teams. Sac State beat EWU this year, so the Hornets hold the tiebreaker over the Eagles.

EWU and UM drew in their match. The next tie breaker is based on how the tied teams fared against the top teams in the conference. Both Montana and EWU lost to Weber. UM drew against Northern Arizona.

So, EWU’s matchup on Friday with NAU will determine who would win a tiebreaker between EWU and UM.

UM plays Portland State on Friday while Sac State plays Northern Colorado. Then on Sunday, Sac State and UM play each other.

What does this all mean? If the Eagles win out, they make the postseason. If they split the weekend, they can still advance with some help. If they lose both games, they fail to make the postseason for the first time in Bodnar’s five seasons as head coach.•