Eastern nearly ties score just before half, Aggies then turn on afterburners with four second-half goals
On Sunday afternoon (Sept. 13), the Eastern Washington University women's soccer team wrapped up a busy, travel-intensive portion of its schedule against one of the best teams it will play this season. The Eagles fell victim to four second-half goals from UC Davis in a 6-1 loss to the visiting Aggies.
The Eagles played three games in five days this week, one in the Vancouver area, one in Bakersfield, Calif., and today's contest in Cheney. In fact, Eastern Washington has now played seven times in 16 days, dating to when the team opened its season with a 4-1 win over McNeese State on Aug. 29.
Now the Eagles will take a well-deserved break from game action, only playing three times over the next 24 days before opening Big Sky Conference play at Weber State on Oct. 8.
Today, the Eagles were with UC Davis for the first half and nearly tied the score seconds before the break. Unfortunately for Eastern, the high-octane Aggies put separation between the teams with three goals just after the break. In fact, UC Davis has now tallied an incredible 16 goals in its last three games.
"Davis is a really good team, well coached and organized," head coach George Hageage said. "We knew that they would have opportunities."
The visitors (4-0-1) went up 2-0 with goals in the fourth and 16th minutes before Eastern (2-5) started battling back.
The first tally came when Marisa Boge went on an extended run and was able to get 1-on-1 with Eastern's goalkeeper before slotting it past her from 10 yards out. Rochelle VanBuskirk earned an assist on the score.
UC Davis made it 2-0 when Katie Webb sent a ball into the box that VanBuskirk head-flicked over to Elise Winbrock who scored from four yards.
Brittany Sparks cut Eastern's deficit in half in the 22nd minute when she took a pass from Kirsten Fausko and sent a well-placed shot that beat the goalkeeper and trickled just over the line.
Eastern nearly tied it 15 seconds before the halftime break when Chelsey Hannesson hit a hard free kick from 30 yards out right at the goalkeeper who spilled it, allowing Kasey McNeill an opportunity to run onto it and tap it in, but a nice point-blank save stopped that opportunity from being converted.
After the break, three Aggie goals in the first 11 minutes of the second half put distance between the teams.
VanBuskirk got on the scoreboard in the 49th minute when she beat a defender and then the goalkeeper one-on-one from five yards out. Boge tallied her second goal of the game in the 53rd minute with a shot from the back right corner of the box that was placed over the goalkeeper and into the back of the net.
In the 56th minute, VanBuskirk scored her second of the game when she angled a shot into the top left corner of the net. UC Davis scored its sixth in the 86th minute when Katie Webb nailed a free kick from 35 yards out over the goalkeeper and into the net.
Even on the negative end of a 6-1 scoreline, the Eagles did show offensive promise today, tallying 15 shots and earning three corner kicks to UC Davis' zero.
"We created opportunities today that we had not previously," Hageage said. "We also used a lot of younger players which was good because it gave them some experience against a pretty good team."
Eastern Washington now has a one-game week and will play at Idaho at 4 p.m. on Friday (Sept. 18). The Vandals are 4-3 and beat Arkansas-Pine Bluff 3-0 today in their most recent outing.
"We look forward to just one game this week and getting some rest," Hageage said.