August 27, 2011

Broncos Edge Eagles, 2-1

Eagles impress in first half, but can't hang on in the second, resulting in third-straight loss to start the 2011 season

After one half of stellar play, the Eastern Washington University women's soccer team failed to capture its first win of the young season, falling to the Boise State Broncos 2-1 at the 2011 Bronco Invite in Boise, Idaho.

Unfortunately the game wasn't the biggest loss of the day for the Eagles, as senior defender Dashia Huff was injured and had the leave the field with 15 minutes remaining in the game. Her status is unknown.

In the 40th minute of Friday's contest, freshman Jessica Wallace intercepted a pass and took the ball down the right flank of the field. She passed the ball to freshman Cassie Black for a textbook header goal. The goal was the first of Black's collegiate career and  gave Eastern a 1-0 halftime lead.

Head coach George Hageage had nothing but praise to give to his team after the first-half performance.

"The first half was the best half of Eastern soccer I have seen since 2004," said Hageage. "Our growing pains are going away and we saw improvement this time around. We're getting there."

But in the second half, the mistakes started cropping up once again and Eastern's inexperience got the best of them. The Eagles conceded a goal right out of the gate in the 56th minute.  It was the second game in a row in which Eastern gave up a goal in the 56th minute – something Hageage says needs to stop.

Boise State's second goal came in the 71st minute, after a clean breakaway by BSU's Lauren Hickok left freshman goalkeeper Nathalie Schwery alone on an open net.

Schwery was between the pipes in the second half, giving up two goals and recording no saves. In the first half, junior Jamie Walker was credited with two saves.

Boise State had more total shots than Eastern (14-11), but the Eagles edged the Broncos in shots on goal by one (5-4).

The Broncos were flagged for being offsides nine times compared to just one call against EWU, which, according to Hageage, is a testament to how well the team played.

"I think were more organized and we created more chances," he said. "We limited the other team pretty well and took care of the ball. We really did a great job."

The Eagles will be back in action on Sunday (Aug. 28) at 1 p.m., when they teak on Air Force to wrap up the 2011 Bronco Invite.

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