Final Regular-Season Road Trip Awaits

Oct. 14, 2008

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The Eastern Washington University women’s soccer team will depart for its final road trip of the regular season this week, as the Eagles take on Sacramento State and Portland State this weekend.

EWU and the Hornets will play at 1:30 p.m. on Friday (Oct. 17), while the Eagles will play the Vikings at 11 a.m. on Sunday (Oct. 19).

Eastern Washington is coming off a couple of emotional games this past weekend.

On Thursday (Oct. 9), the Eagles were within three minutes of earning three points on the road before Idaho State scored in the 88th minute and the teams ended in a 1-1 stalemate. The point for a tie, however, was EWU’s first-ever in Pocatello in six attempts.

“You look for splits on the road, so we were happy to get out of Idaho State with a tie, a team we had never beaten or tied at their place,” head coach George Hageage said.

Then, on Sunday (Oct. 12), EWU was within 12 seconds of finishing off a well-earned tie with first-place Weber State before the Wildcats scored the game winner.

“We really should have gotten out of there with a win,” Hageage said. “That was disappointing for our players.

“However, when you lose a tough game, especially one in double overtime, you cannot let it beat you twice. You have to come back and refocus.”

In the WSU contest, Lauryn Koelzer tied the school record for goals in a season with her sixth.

Sacramento State is coming off of a 4-0 victory over Northern Colorado on Sunday. The Hornets, the defending Big Sky Conference champions, are 7-6-1 on the season, 1-1-0 in league play (Sacramento State fell at Northern Arizona 2-0 in its league opener). The Hornets are 6-2-0 in their last eight contests.

Portland State is 2-9-3, but the Vikings are 1-0-1 in Big Sky games and tied for second, having tied NAU 0-0 on Sunday and beaten Northern Colorado 2-1 two days prior.

Lauryn Ties School Goal-Scoring Record                
With a clutch first-half goal against Weber State, the first-place team in the Big Sky Conference, Lauryn Koelzer tied the school record for goals in a season with her sixth of 2008. That last tally tied the game with WSU 1-1.

She now shares that record with Cyeeta Mott, who had six last season. The senior is also second on the single-season points list with 12, just trailing Mott’s 16 from last year.

The Walla Walla Community College transfer has impressively shot herself up the career charts, as well, in less than two years of play. Koelzer is tied for third in career goals with nine and tied for fourth in points with 20.

Koelzer had her second, third, fourth and fifth goals of 2008 in an impressive four-game scoring streak from Sept. 14-Oct. 3.

The final one came in the second half of EWU’s 3-1 loss to Washington State on Oct. 3. It was the first home goal allowed by WSU in 397:57, dating back to a 2-1 win over eventual national champion USC on Nov. 11, 2007.

That stretch also included the game winner in a 1-0 win over Idaho on Sept. 26 and the game-tying score in a 2-1 double-overtime loss at Gonzaga two days later.

The Connell, Wash., native ranks second in the Big Sky this year in goals per game with 0.45 and is tied for second in points per game with 0.92.

“Lauryn has done more than we have ever asked her to,” head coach George Hageage said. “She has really carried this offense on her shoulders. She definitely has a nose for the goal.”

EWU First to Score in Pullman Since 2007  
A score by Lauryn Koelzer at the 61:24 mark of Eastern Washington’s 3-1 loss on Oct. 3 at Washington State, a team that entered the NSCAA/adidas Top 25 a couple days later at No. 25, marked the first time WSU had allowed a goal by a visiting player in 397:57.

The goal got Eastern right back in the game, as the Eagles trailed by a narrow 2-1 margin at that point.

That goalless streak dated back to a 2-1 Cougar win over eventual national champions USC on Nov. 11, 2007.

Blessard Leads Big Sky Conference                     
Goalkeeper Jessica Blessard is setting the pace among Big Sky Conference players in save percentage (.878), while she also ranks second in goals against average (1.01) and third in saves per game (6.00).

For her career, she has a goals against average of 0.93, which is on pace to set a school record in that category (Tiera Como, who played at Eastern from 2003-06, is next with 1.44).

Jensen Climbs Goal-Scoring Chart                 
Abby Jensen has scored nine goals in her Eagle career, which is good for third on the Eastern Washington all-time goal-scoring list. She trails Jennie Summers (2002-05), who had 11, and Cyeeta Mott (2004-07), who has the record of 14.

Eagles Win the Title                                          
Eastern Washington played the best soccer of the four teams at the SDSU Invitational, contested from Sept. 12-14, to claim the title. The Eagles defeated the hosts, South Dakota State, by a 2-1 score before tying North Dakota State 1-1. Iowa State was the other team to take part in the competition.

Four Eagles earned All-Tournament accolades, including Jocelyn Bement, Jessica Blessard, Lillian Bourret and Lauryn Koelzer. Bement was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player.

April Springs into Goal-Scoring List               
Midfielder April Coffin could not have gotten her collegiate career off to a better start, as the freshman scored a goal on her first-ever shot.

In the 31st minute of Eastern’s 1-1 tie with Louisiana-Lafayette on Aug. 29, she blocked a clearing attempt, chased down the loose ball and tapped it into the empty net to give EWU a 1-0 advantage.

The goal came in just her second collegiate game.

Playing for a Championship                                   
The Big Sky Conference’s regular-season champion will play host to this year’s Championship the first week of November. Depending on the host team’s preference, the semifinals will be played on either Nov. 6 or 7, and the title contest will take place on either Nov. 8 or 9.

Last year, Sacramento State won the regular-season crown with a 4-0-3 league record and then claimed the tournament championship with 2-1 and 3-0 wins over Portland State and Northern Colorado, respectively.

The winner earns the league’s automatic berth into the NCAA Championship, which will commence on Nov. 14.

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