Eastern Washington will finish 2009 regular season at Northern Arizona on Sunday, Montana next week
The Eastern Washington University women's soccer team got its only extended road trip of the Big Sky Conference season off to an inauspicious start with a 4-0 loss to Northern Colorado on Friday evening (Oct. 23). The Eagles, however, will enter the final two games of the season in a first-place tie.
After the teams played a relatively-even first half - Northern Colorado held a 1-0 lead at that point after out-shooting the Eagles 11-8 in that stanza - the Bears pulled away in the second stanza with three goals to put the game away.
The loss created an even-tighter Big Sky race than had existed entering the day. The Eagles and Portland State are now tied for first place at 3-1-1, while Northern Arizona and Idaho State are in a third-place stalemate at 3-2.
They are followed by Sacramento State (2-2-1), Weber State (2-3), Montana (1-3-1) and UNC (1-4). The top four teams qualify for the Big Sky Tournament, and the regular-season champion hosts the event that will decide the league's automatic entry into the NCAA Tournament.
Eastern saw its school-record six-game unbeaten streak (4-0-2) come to an end today.
Northern Colorado's goals came in the 34th, 49th, 67th and 79th minutes. The goals were scored by Kimmie Fielder, Marcie Johnson, JJ Wykstra and Ariel Cook, respectively.
Even though the Bears (5-9-1) out-shot Eastern Washington tonight 25-16, the Eagles held a 4-3 advantage in corner kicks.
The four goals allowed were especially uncharacteristic for Eastern Washington this league season, as the Eagles had entered tonight with a league-leading goals against average in Big Sky games of 0.24.
The Eagles wrap up the road trip with a game against Northern Arizona at noon Pacific Time on Sunday (Oct. 25). The Lumberjacks knocked off Montana 2-1 in overtime today to improve to 8-7-1 on the season. Eastern Washington finishes its 2009 regular season at Montana next Friday (Oct. 30).