MOSCOW, Idaho - The EWU women's soccer team (1-5-0) clinched its first victory of the season Friday in Moscow, Idaho with a 2-1 win over the Idaho Vandals (0-6-0), led by Cassie Black's 16th career goal. Black is now one goal shy of tying the EWU all-time record for most goals in a career.
"I thought we did what we needed to do, which was to come out strong quickly," said Eastern head coach George Hageage. "Cassie's goal just a couple minutes into the game allowed our energy level to stay really high throughout the first half."
The Eagles wasted no time taking control of the contest thanks to Black's goal in the third minute of play. Her unassisted score came from the middle of the field just outside the 18-foot mark, as she sent the ball sailing into the back of the net just below the crossbar.
Defense was the name of the game for the rest of the first half, however, as the Eagles relied on junior goalkeeper Nathalie Schwery and a talented back line to keep the Idaho attack at bay. Idaho had just five shots, two of which were on goal, in the first half.
As the second half commenced, Schwery nabbed a pair of saves within the first three minutes, before the Eastern offense took over once again. Sheridan Becanic, Black and Katie Cashman all registered shots within the half's first 15 minutes.
The Eagles finally broke through with Stott's goal in the 70th minute. Thanks to a collision between the defender and the Idaho keeper, Stading's pass to Stott was easily relayed into the empty net to put EWU up 2-0.
Idaho responded soon after, however, as Katie Baran put a rebound past Schwery from 10 yards out in the 79th minute to put the EWU lead back at one.
"When Alisha's goal went in our energy level relaxed a bit, and we can't afford to do that," said Hageage. "Keeping the pressure on after we've built a lead is a lesson we'll have to work on, but overall the effort of everybody was great today."
Eastern and Idaho both were credited with 14 shots, though the Vandals put six on goal to the Eagles' three. Of the 14 shots, five came from Black alone, giving her sole possession of eighth place on the EWU all-time shots list (80). Stading's assist lifted her into fifth place all-time, though her six career assists are the third most in program history.
"It's still early in the season, so we're happy that key players, the ones we were relying on from last year especially, are getting chances that are actually going in," Hageage added. "It's great to see all their hard work paying off."
The Eagles, who played Idaho for the 18th time in program history Friday, are 7-3 in their last 10 games against Idaho, dating back to 2004.
Next on the docket for the Eagles is a short trip to play Gonzaga on Tuesday, Sept. 17 in Spokane. Kickoff is set for 4 p.m. at the Gonzaga Soccer Field.