October 28, 2008

Season Ends With Visit from Grizzlies

Oct. 28, 2008

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The Eastern Washington University women's soccer team will pay tribute to six seniors and conclude its 2008 campaign with a 3:30 p.m. game on Friday (Oct. 31) against Montana.

The Eagles have played well during the Big Sky Conference season but unfortunately did not have as many positive results as the team had hoped.

This past Friday (Oct. 24), EWU played well in a 1-0 loss to Northern Arizona, outshooting the Lumberjacks 12-5 in the second half in attempting to get the tying goal.

Two days later Eastern Washington claimed its first conference win of the season, defeating Northern Colorado 1-0. The Eagles were dominating in this contest, outshooting the Bears by a 23-12 count.

"I was very happy with the way we played this weekend," head coach George Hageage said. "We also played well enough to win on Friday - things just did not go our way."

The goal against UNC came courtesy of a cross from Jocelyn Bement on the left side of the box to Brittany Sparks, who slotted the ball past the goalkeeper and into the net.

"It was great to see Jocelyn get an assist, especially in that way - it was a beautiful cross," Hageage said. "It was also great to see Brittany get her first goal. She is another player who is doing a lot of work, just not seeing the end result."

Eastern Washington also eliminated UNC from postseason consideration with its win over the Bears.

The Eagles are looking to do more of the same this week, as Montana is narrowly holding on to fourth place in the Big Sky standings (four teams advance to the Big Sky Championship).

The Grizzlies are 3-2-1 in league contests, 6-9-2, overall, and are just ahead of Sacramento State (3-3-0 BSC) for that final tournament berth. The Hornets play at first-place Portland State Friday night at 7 p.m.

Up-to-date standings may be found on page 2 of the PDF located at the top of this page. 

"Montana is a little more direct; they get on the end of set pieces," Hageage said. "It is going to be a tough match for us."

Time to Say Goodbye to Eagle Seniors 
          
A sextet of Eagle seniors will be playing their final games in an EWU uniform on Friday. These include Jocelyn Bement, Lillian Bourret, Maia Fastabend, Abby Jensen, Lauryn Koelzer and Ashley Renz.

"We have a really nice talented group of seniors," head coach George Hageage said.

"Lauryn did a great job right off the bat scoring goals. Abby and Lilly have done a good job holding the center of the park in our 4-4-2. Jocelyn is obviously going to be hard to replace with her attacking ability. Ashley has played well enough to have a much better record than she does in goal - she has made some spectacular saves this year. Maia has not been playing much lately, but will see time up top with Lauryn right off the bat on Friday (Oct. 31, against Montana).

"The seniors have brought our young players along, showed them what to do and set the tone. Our young players are learning from them, and we will not know the impact the seniors have had until two years from now when the freshmen on this year's team become juniors."

Lauryn Ties School Goal-Scoring Record  
              
With a clutch first-half goal against Weber State on Oct. 12 to knot that contest 1-1, Lauryn Koelzer tied the school record for goals in a season with her sixth of 2008.

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 as an Eagle.

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 streak started with a goal in a 1-1 tie with North Dakota State that clinched the SDSU Invitational crown for the Eagles.

The Connell, Wash., native ranks second in the Big Sky this year in goals per game with 0.35.

"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."

Renz Ranks Among Nation's Best                     
Goalkeeper Ashley Renz is ranked 46th among all NCAA Division I goalkeepers in saves per game with 5.77. She also ranks fourth in the Big Sky Conference in that category.

For her career, she has a 2.02 goals against average, which is third all-time in Eagle annals. Her 116 shutouts place her fifth on that list.

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

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 2007 national champions USC on Nov. 11 of that year.

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Eastern Washington has taken part in five overtime games this year (with each going to a second extra session).

To compare, entering the 2008 season, the Eagles had only played in 15 double-overtime affairs in the program's history, an 11-year stretch dating to the team's inaugural season of 1997. In addition to six single-overtime contests, Eastern Washington has taken part in 21 games to go longer than 90 minutes.

This campaign also marks the most games to go into extra time in a single season in EWU history. The previous high was four, set by the 2005 squad. All four of those games that year were also of the double-overtime variety.

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 tournament 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.

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