Eagles struggle to find offensive rhythm against a strong Titan team
The Eastern Washington University women’s soccer team suffered its first loss of the 2010 season on Sunday (Aug. 29), as Cal State Fullerton topped EWU 4-0 at Titan Stadium in Fullerton, Calif. Eastern falls to 0-1-1 on the season, while Cal State Fullerton improves its record to 1-1-0.
The first period was a battle in the midfield, as neither team completely dominated possession. Both the Eagles and Titans took an equal five shots before halftime, while the Eagle defense did a fine job of protecting the ball in its half of the field. However, in the 15th minute, the Titans fell into some luck, as Nikki McCants’ shot from the outside struck the far post and fell into the goal, giving Cal State Bakersfield a 1-0 advantage.
Although the Eagles distributed the ball well on the defensive end, the team could not find an offensive rhythm, which made opportunities for an equalizer hard to come by.
“We were very tentative in our attack,” said EWU head coach George Hageage. “As soon as we got control of the ball, we would turn it over. We are lacking some confidence, but I know that is something we can work on in practice and hopefully execute better in our next game.”
After holding the Titans to just five shots in the first half, the Eagles allowed Cal State Bakersfield to unleash in the second, as the home team took 15 shots, three of which found their way to the back of the net.
The first of the three second-half goals was scored from 25 yards out, as Geminesse Martinez sent a long shot to right side that got past EWU’s goalkeeper Lisa Dimak. Just five minutes later, Eastern conceded goal number three after Christina Murillo bent in a corner kick at the 69:43 mark.
“We suffered from a bit of a mental breakdown in the second half,” said Hageage. “Our work rate and fitness levels were good, but we gave up too many easy goals and could not answer with any force on our offensive end.”
Six different Eagles fired shots in the contest, with junior Whitney Brannan leading the way with two. Cheney native Tanya Baker took one shot, which was on frame, while Hannah Kreminski also recorded one shot on goal.
For the second match in a row, Dimak and sophomore Jamie Walker split time between the pipes, with Walker tallying one save in her 60:33 minutes of play and Dimak collecting three in 29:97 minutes.
The Eagles will make their home debut next weekend as they take on Seattle on Friday (Sept. 3) at 4:30 p.m. and UC-Irvine on Sunday (Sept. 5) at 11 a.m. in Cheney, Wash.