Valiant Defensive Effort Not Enough As Eagles Fall At Washington State

Junior goalkeeper Nathalie Schwery recorded seven of her eight saves in the second half as Eastern limited the Cougars to a single goal for the first time in five meetings

A tremendous defensive effort was not enough as the Eastern Washington women's soccer team fell to PAC-12 member Washington State, 1-0, Sunday in Pullman, Wash.

The loss keeps EWU winless on the year at 0-4-0 while the Cougars improve to 3-0-0 with the win.

The match was Eastern's best showing against Washington State since the two teams first met back in 1998. EWU had never held the Cougars to a single goal in four previous meetings. WSU is currently receiving votes in the NSCAA Poll.

Junior goalkeeper Nathalie Schwery had a phenomenal day in goal for the Eagles, recording eight saves, seven of which came in the second half.

"I thought we played with a ton of energy," head coach George Hageage said. "Washington State is a very good team that poses a lot of challenges. Overall, I was pleased with our performance against such a quality side."

It was one-way traffic early as the hosts controlled a majority of the possession, stifling the Eagles' attack. The Cougars forced two early corner kicks before earning a third late in the 18th minute that it would convert for its first goal of the match. An unlucky deflection saw Micaela Castain's corner kick find its way inside the near post to give WSU a 1-0 lead.

Sophomore Caitlin Hepworth was responsible for Eastern's best chance in the first half, putting a shot on frame that WSU goalkeeper Gurveen Clair was forced to deal with. WSU got off three more shots down the stretch, two of which went high while EWU goalkeeper Nathalie Schwery corralled the third.

The Cougars remained on the offensive at the beginning of the second half, earning three corner kicks and firing off five shots. Schwery saved the first two while the other three were off target. The Eagles earned consecutive corner kicks in the 54th and 55th minutes, respectively, as EWU began to create some offensive. Junior Haley Stading's corner kick found the foot of classmate Cassie Black, but her shot attempt was saved.

Sophomore Shayla Weiler's shot went wide right in the 57th minute, after which the Cougars began to assert themselves, shutting down Eastern's offensive attack for the remainder of the match.

The hosts got off 23 shots to the Eagles' nine, but were limited to just three shots on goal. The Cougars attempted 14 corner kicks while Eastern earned just two.

Eastern is back in Cheney next weekend, when it welcomes Fresno State to the Sports and Recreation Soccer Field on Sunday, Sept. 8. The match is set to begin at 11 a.m.

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