August 21, 2011

Eagles Lose Second Straight in Florida, but Young Team Still Optimistic

Senior Kirsten Fausko scores her first goal of the season and third of career in loss to RMU

Inexperience was yet again a main contributing factor in the Eastern Washington University women's soccer team's second-consecutive loss to open the season, as it fell to Robert Morris University 3-1 on Sunday (Aug. 21) at the 5th Annual Embassy Suites Kick-Off Classic in Fort Myers, Fla.

The Colonials scored off of their first corner kick at the 4:47 mark thanks to a header by RMU's Rachel Sebbens. The Eagles quickly responded eight minutes later with a goal of their own to knot the score at one a piece.

Senior Dashia Huff found Senior Kirsten Fausko up the middle of the field between the defenders, and Fausko dropped the ball into the net perfectly for Eastern's lone goal. Fausko took three of seven Eagle shots in the game.

"We talked about trying to get people through the middle," said head coach George Hageage. The goal was a ball that we played back to Dashia, and when she looked up she saw Kirsten over top. Kirsten played throughout the whole tournament and she's done a great job. She's moving really well."

Robert Morris had just one more shot than Eastern, giving them a total of eight in the match. Each team had five shots in the first half and five corner kicks for the game.

Eagle goalkeepers Jamie Walker and Nathalie Schwery split time in the net. Walker allowed one goal and had three saves in the first half, while Schwery allowed two goals with no saves in the second. Hageage mentioned the goalkeepers didn't have any chance to stop the goals that were scored.

Although the team lost, Eastern controlled possession of the ball for the majority of the game, which is something Hageage wants to do all season long. Last season, the Eagles didn't have possession as often and as a result they were outshot multiple times.

"We're not creating a lot of shots right now, but were in possession a lot of the time," said Hageage. "This system is the way we want to play and it's working with these young players. Now we just need to work on the little things."

The game was tied at one until the 65:46 mark in the second half when the Colonials scored their second goal. Six minutes later Robert Morris added their third and final goal.

Hageage admitted it's interesting having a lot of young, inexperienced players on the roster, but he was still very optimistic about the team as they were preparing to board their plane to return home.

"It's interesting (with so many freshmen) because we still have a couple players at home with injuries, and those two will make a huge difference," he said. "The freshmen were here and found out the Division I was a lot faster than they were anticipating. Plus with the weather and humidity that comes with playing in Florida, it was an experience that will really help them grow as a team."

The Eagles will return to action on Friday (Aug. 26) at the 2011 Bronco Invite in Boise, Idaho to face Boise State.

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