Eagles Qualify for Big Sky Tournament
1-0 victory over Montana clinches spot in Championship, EWU's first appearance since 2005
The Eastern Washington University women's soccer team defeated Montana 1-0 on Friday afternoon (Oct. 30) to qualify for the Big Sky Conference Championship for the first time since 2005. Brittney Doran scored in the ninth minute to earn Eastern the crucial road win.
Combined with Northern Colorado's 4-0 win over Northern Arizona on Friday evening, the Eagles have claimed the second seed in the four-team event, to be hosted by regular-season champion Portland State. Eastern will face either Idaho State or Northern Arizona in a semifinal to be played at 1:30 p.m. on Friday (Nov. 6).
"I am really proud of the team, especially after losing two last weekend and putting ourselves in a must-win situation to assure qualifying," head coach George Hageage said. "We came out with a lot of determination and got back the style we like, possessing a bit, defending a lot better."
Doran's score came when she knocked the ball into the box from 20 yards out and it deflected off Montana's goalkeeper and into the net. Lyndsey Martin earned the junior's first career assist on the play. The shot by Doran was the first attempt by either team today, and it came at the 8:10 mark.
The rest of the way, Eastern Washington held the Grizzlies to just two shots on goal, as goalkeeper Lisa Dimak posted her fourth shutout of the season after recording two saves today. Her four blankings are now tied for the second-highest single-season total in school history, just one behind Tiera Como's five from 2004. Dimak's four career shutouts (all this year) are tied for fourth-most all-time in EWU annals.
"We are incredibly happy with the way Lisa has come along this season, especially having all that time off (having graduated high school in 2006 and not playing intercollegiate soccer until 2009)," Hageage said. "She has done an outstanding job and really helped today with her command and presence, helping run the defense."
Eastern Washington's opponent in the semifinal round will be determined Saturday afternoon (Oct. 31) in an Idaho State-Weber State game to be contested in Pocatello, Idaho. If the host Bengals win, ISU claims the third seed and faces the Eagles. If the game ends in a tie or Weber State claims a victory, Northern Arizona will be the third seed, and Sacramento State will take the fourth spot in the tourney.