EWU Women's Soccer | 2013 Season Review
The 2013 soccer season saw a number of Eagle players rewrite record books and cement their places in EWU history. The most notable of those was junior forward Cassie Black, who became Eastern's all-time leading goal scorer and its career leader in shots per game among many other accomplishments during the fall.
The season started slow for the Eagles, as it dropped its first four games without scoring a goal. A turnaround was in order through the rest of the non-conference slate, however, as Eastern found the net in four of its next five contests, two of which were victories, and all but one of which came on the road.
A heartbreaking double-overtime home loss to Fresno State kicked off that stretch, and despite losing the match 3-2, the Eagles bounced back with a 2-1 victory over Idaho on the road in Moscow a week later.
Following a tough road loss to Gonzaga the following week, the Eags traveled to North Dakota for the first time in program history to compete in the Doublewood Inn Classic. In the first of two games that weekend, EWU was unable to come out on top in yet another loss in double overtime, this time to Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville. Bouncing back in the second game against host North Dakota State, however, the Eagles posted their highest goal total of the season in a 3-0 rout of the Bison.
In the game against NDSU, junior defender Kayla Sutter became just the sixth Eastern player to tally two assists in a single game and tie for most assists in a single match. With another assist in EWU's win over Sacramento State, Sutter put herself in a tie for fifth on the list of most assists in a single season (3).
Following their inaugural trip to the Peace Garden State, Eastern went on the road to begin the conference season, dropping a close 1-0 contest to Idaho State in Pocatello and falling 3-0 to eventual Big Sky tournament champion Weber State in Ogden.
The Eagles returned to Sports & Recreation Field for their first home conference games of the season, facing the soon-to-be regular season champion Portland State Vikings and the always-tough Sacramento State Hornets. Despite outshooting the Vikings 15-10 and falling 2-0 in the first of the two games, Eastern put on an electrifying performance in the latter match.
After giving up a first-half goal to the Hornets, the Eags bounced back with a vengeance in the second half, peppering Sac's goalie and breaking through on a goal from Siara Byers in the 74th minute. The game would go to extra minutes, but EWU only needed seven before Black notched an open-net goal to win the game. Black's overtime game-winner, the eighth of her career, furthered her hold on Eastern's all-time game-winning goals record.
Following the home win over Sacramento State, Eastern would cap the season with three-straight road games and a final home weekend. Despite not tallying a fourth win over the final five games, Eastern was never short on scoring opportunities. The Eagles put up 18 or more shots in three of those games and only had only one match with less than 10. EWU put up the fourth-highest team shot total in school history in a loss at North Dakota (31).
Despite only winning one contest in the last third of the 2013 campaign, Eastern put up nearly 50 percent of their season shot total in that stretch, which serves as a good indication that the 2014 returners have the capability to create scoring opportunities. Eastern's 2013 team shot total of 223 ranks fourth all-time for most shots in a single season.
The Eagles finished without a tie on their record for the first time since 2007 and ended the year with a 3-15-0 record, good enough for ninth in the Big Sky Conference.
Eastern still fared well with postseason honors, however, placing three players on the list of Honorable Mention All-Big Sky honorees and snagging a pair of accolades from the College Sports Madness All-Big Sky Conference awards. Black, Byers and Sutter earned All-Big Sky honors at their respective positions, while Black and senior Brianna Brannan captured second and first-team honors, respectively, from College Sports Madness.
At season's end, Black had maintained her standing as EWU's career leader in game-winning goals and points and goals per game, moved up the rankings in career points (38; 3rd) and shots (118; 4th) and became the program's all-time leader in shots per game (2.27). In addition, Black registered the third-most shots in a single season in program history with 53. The total was also a career high for Black, breaking her previous personal best of 45 in 2012, and her eight shots in Eastern's final game of the season is tied for the EWU single-match record.
Other notable changes in the record book included Byers and fellow graduating senior Torri Sitzman ending their careers tied for 17th in games played (60), Byers moving up to a tie for 16th in career points (12) and a tie for 12th in career goals (5), Alisha Stott compiling the 16th-best career points per game total (0.25) and Haley Stading moving to 15th on the career shots list (53).