EWU soccer heads into conference play hoping to turn ties into wins

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EWU soccer heads into conference play hoping to turn ties into wins

EWU senior forward Saige Lyons pursues the ball in the Eagles' 1-1 draw against Northern Colorado on Sept. 27.

EWU senior forward Saige Lyons pursues the ball in the Eagles' 1-1 draw against Northern Colorado on Sept. 27.

Mckenzie Ford for The Easterner

EWU senior forward Saige Lyons pursues the ball in the Eagles' 1-1 draw against Northern Colorado on Sept. 27.

Mckenzie Ford for The Easterner

Mckenzie Ford for The Easterner

EWU senior forward Saige Lyons pursues the ball in the Eagles' 1-1 draw against Northern Colorado on Sept. 27.

By Drew Lawson, Sports Editor

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The EWU soccer team has only scored more than twice in one game this season. Despite that fact, the Eagles have started Big Sky Conference play with a 3-5-2 record after playing Northern Colorado to a 1-1 draw in the conference opener on Sept. 27. 

Strangely, EWU has yet to get a win at home, as all three victories have come on the road. The Eagles won the season opener at Nevada 1-0 in overtime on Aug. 22, then won at CSU Bakersfield 3-2 on Sept. 6. The most recent dub was a Sept. 15, two-overtime decision at South Dakota by a score of 2-1. 

Because the sport of soccer allows ties, EWU’s winless home record doesn’t mean they’ve lost every game in Cheney. After losing the home opener to Mississippi State 1-0 on Aug. 30, the Eagles tied Colorado State 1-1 on Sept. 1. The tie against UNC brought EWU’s home record to 0-2-2. 

EWU has managed to maintain a competitive record despite struggles putting the ball in the back of the net. EWU head coach Chad Bodnar said after the UNC game that the team has had many chances to score, but haven’t always taken advantage.

“We’re missing some chances that we should be scoring,” Bodnar said. “If we start finishing those chances I think these are wins instead of ties.”

The Eagles have managed to come up with several clutch goals throughout the season. In the win over Nevada, junior forward Sariah Keister won the game in overtime on an assist from freshman Riley Walkington. Against South Dakota, senior forward Brooke Dunbar tied the game in the 83rd minute before freshman forward Brooke Flores won it again in overtime. In the BSC opener against UNC, junior forward Taylor Matheny evened the score in the 72nd minute. Matheny said after the UNC game that the team has managed to stay positive when facing early deficits.

“It was a team effort,” Matheny said. “Once we went down we kept our heads up and kept fighting to get the equalizer.”

Keister leads the Eagles with five goals for 10 points. Senior forward Saige Lyons has four assists, while Flores has two goals. Defensively, junior goalkeeper Kelsee Winston has 37 saves and has allowed just 1.6 goals per match. 

Up next for EWU is an Oct. 6 home match against the Idaho Vandals. The Vandals are second-to-last in the BSC with a 0-1-1 record in conference and a 3-8-1 record overall. EWU is in sixth place in the BSC with a 0-0-1 conference record. Kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m. from the EWU soccer field. 

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