CHENEY – Junior Cassie Black is Eastern Washington's new all-time leading goal scorer. Black's record 18th goal came in the 97th minute of a riveting Big Sky Conference matchup against Sacramento State, thus ending the game and giving the Eagles their first home and conference victories of the season with the 2-1 win.
In a game where intensity on both sides rarely wavered, Eastern matched Sacramento's intensity at every turn. Both teams found great opportunities to score from the start, with a total of eight shots going up in the first 20 minutes alone.
Sacramento seemed to have better accuracy in the first half, however, as seven of their nine shots, including Jordyn Rolling's 41st minute score, were on goal. EWU, by comparison, was unable to register a shot on goal in the game's first 45 minutes.
The second half brought a 180-degree turn in the shot proficiency, with an incredible six shots from the Eagles coming within 20 minutes, putting immense pressure on Hornet goalie Kimberley Mata. The pressure gave way in the 74th minute when senior Siara Byers took a pass at the top of the box from Ua Ruedy and fired a shot into the left side of the net past Mata.
Byers' goal, her first of the season and fifth of her career, gave a burst of energy to the Eagles, enough to hold off the Hornets for the rest of regulation and push the game into extra minutes.
Eastern's pressure didn't stop with the dawn of the first and only overtime period. Both Katy Allen and Haley Stading threatened Mata yet again with shots that went wide and high in the 91st and 92nd minutes, respectively.
Great control and a stroke of luck in the 97th minute gave Kayla Sutter the perfect situation from just across midfield. Sutter sailed a pass high and over the defense, where a sprinting Black found the ball, dribbled past a sprawling Mata and took two touches before ending the game with the open-net goal.
Sutter's assist was her third of the season and she now is one assist shy of tying the EWU single-season record for assists. Black's game-winner, in addition to giving her sole possession of the all-time goals record, also furthered her hold on the career game-winning goals mark (8).
Eagle goalie Nathalie Schwery had one of her best games all season, registering eight saves in a winning effort. Black's six shots led Eastern, while Katie Cashman added four and Stading put up two. Five other EWU players were credited for a single shot.
In the team stat categories, Eastern outshot Sacramento 17-14 and were cited for more fouls than the visitor by a tally of 13-11. Both team had five corner kicks in the game's 96:23 minutes.
The win puts Eastern's overall record at 3-10 and their conference mark at 1-1. The team is on the road the next two weeks, beginning with a trip to Northern Colorado Friday, Oct. 11 at 6 p.m. The Eagles will end their weekend with a game at North Dakota on Sunday, Oct. 13 at 11 a.m.