CHENEY – The balls just weren't bouncing the right way for the Eastern Washington women's soccer team Friday afternoon in Cheney as they dropped a 3-0 contest to the visiting Southern Utah Thunderbirds.
Fighting hard through all 90 minutes, the Eagles actually outshot their opponents 20-17, a total that included 13 shots in the second half alone. Seven Eastern players all registered two shots apiece while six put up a single shot, showing just how varied and consistent the Eagle attack was in Friday's match.
Less than 10 minutes into the contest, Kayla Sutter placed a free kick into a crowd of players directly in front of the net. The ball ricocheted off SUU goalie Tessa Christensen and onto the foot of Sheridan Becanic, who promptly put the ball into the back of the net. The goal, however, was called back due to an offside call on the Eagles, just their second such call all season.
Ten more scoreless minutes passed before a 30th minute header from Thunderbird forward Nancy Brich broke the scoreless tie. Brich took a pass from Chandler Yost and caught EWU goalie Nathalie Schwery out of position for the early score. Yost had a hand in SUU's second goal seven minutes later as well, crossing a pass from the left side to teammate Madison Wood, who put in a far post shot from inside the box for her first goal of the year.
Despite giving up the pair of goals before being relieved by Clara Elsholz in the 69th minute, Schwery still garnered seven saves, her second-highest total of the season.
Eastern had a flurry of scoring chances toward the end that very nearly put the Eagles back in the game. Sutter had a free kick from 30 yards out that hit the crossbar, Haley Stading put a shot just wide and Ua Ruedy launched a shot no more than a few inches above the bar all within the last 20 minutes of action.
EWU's efforts were in vain, however, as Southern Utah's Shelby Green tallied another goal for the visitors in the 82nd minute to put the game away for good.
In the other stat categories, Southern Utah led the foul count 10-9 and the corner kick opportunities 5-1. The match's lone yellow card was given to Eastern's Brianna Brannan in the 82nd minute after a hard foul in EWU's end of the field.
The Eagles will close out their season on Senior Day, Sunday, Oct. 27 at 11 a.m. against Northern Arizona at Sports & Recreation Field.