September 5, 2010

Eagles Drop 3-1 Decision to UC-Irvine

Freshman Erin Bourguignon tallies first-career goal in loss

The Eastern Washington University soccer team conceded two goals in the second half, resulting in a 3-1 setback to the Anteaters of UC-Irvine on Sunday (Sept. 5) at the Sports and Recreation Center Playing Fields in Cheney, Wash. Eastern falls to 0-3-1 on the season, while UC-Irvine improves its overall mark to 3-2-1.

Both teams battled equally for possession in the first half, with UC-Irvine holding a slight advantage in shots at 7-5. The Anteaters drew first blood when senior defender Nikki Forrest made a long pass to teammate Tanya Taylor, who was streaking down the center of the pitch. Taylor eluded the EWU defense, resulting in a one v. one situation for Eagle goalkeeper Jamie Walker. After a few controlled touches, Taylor snuck a shot past Walker to put the Anteaters up 1-0 at the 20:06 mark.

The Eagles answered in the 34th minute when freshman Erin Bourguignon blasted a shot from 10 yards outside the box. The play started with a strong run up the middle by junior Charlene Hitchcock. The Anteater defense was able to intercept Hitchcock’s pursuit, but their attempt to clear the ball landed directly at the feet of Bourguignon. The freshman from Mercer Island, Wash., hammered a hard shot, which hit the crossbar and bounced off the ground twice before finally falling across the goal line.

It looked as though Eastern would go up a goal early in the second half after the team was awarded a free kick deep in Anteater territory. Senior defender Hannah Kreminski had a beautiful strike off the set play, but her shot nicked the underside of the crossbar and bounced out far enough to where UC-Irvine was able to safely clear.

Five minutes later, the Anteaters mounted an attack which created chaos inside the Eagle six-yard box. Several shots were fired before UC-Irvine’s Dana Sanderline gained control of a deflection and took a sharp-angled shot which got by the near post to give the Anteaters a 2-1 advantage with just under 36 minutes remaining.

UC-Irvine was able to extend its lead in the 64th minute when freshman Zuri Walker found Taylor up front. Taylor made a quick turn and cut inside before firing her shot, which sailed into the goal for her second tally of the game and third on the season.

“Irvine is a really good team,” said EWU head coach George Hageage. “They have a ton of strong athletes who know how to finish. We came out with a lot of intensity in the first half and were definitely creating opportunities, but there are just two things we need to work on in order to capitalize on those chances. We need to hold the ball coming out of the back and we cannot turn the ball over in the middle. If we can figure out how to make those controlled passes, as opposed to just booting it, we have potential to be a great team. We showed that in spurts today, but were just not able to keep UC-Irvine at bay in the second half.”

Six different Eagles took shots in the game, while Walker picked up four saves between the pipes. Taylor led the Anteaters with six total shots, four of which were on frame.

Eastern will be back in action on Sunday, Sept. 12 when it travels to Missoula, Mont., to take on Wyoming at the University of Montana Tournament.

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