|Friday, Aug. 23 | 4 p.m.||Sunday, Aug. 25 | 1 p.m.|
|Sports & Recreation Field | Cheney, Wash.||Sports & Recreation Field | Cheney, Wash.|
|Match Notes | Live Stats | EWU on Twitter||Match Notes | Live Stats | EWU on Twitter|
After nearly a month of grueling training sessions, the Eastern Washington women's soccer team opens its 2013 campaign with a pair of home matches this weekend. The Eagles square off with cross-town rival Gonzaga on Friday, Aug. 23, at 4 p.m. before facing Seattle on Sunday, Aug. 25, at 1 p.m.
Eastern returns eight starters and 18 letter winners from last year's squad that finished above .400 for the first time since 2009. EWU welcomes back nearly 80 percent of its scoring, highlighted by junior forward Cassie Black, who put away a team-best eight goals last season. Also back is Eastern's entire defensive unit as senior Brianna Brannan and juniors Katie Cashman, Jessica Wallace and Kayla Sutter will anchor a backline after starting in all of the Eagles' matches last season.
The Eagles were picked eighth in the Big Sky Preseason Coaches Poll, nine points behind seventh-place Sacramento State and 12 points above ninth-ranked Southern Utah. College Sports Madness named Brannan, Black and senior Katy Allen to its All-Big Sky Conference First Team while Brannan and Black each found their names on Top Drawer Soccer's Preseason Big Sky Top 20 List.