Eastern Grabs Early Lead on Brannan Goal, but Fall to Cowgirls Late

Eagles make costly mistakes in second half

The Eastern Washington University women's soccer team dropped its fifth game of its season, this time to the Wyoming Cowgirls, 2-1, at the 2011 home opener in Cheney, Wash.

The Eagles started off strong with senior Whitney Brannan's first goal of the season only seven minutes into the match. Freshman Jessica Wallace got the ball to Brannan on the right corner of the box for a quick 10-yard strike.

Wyoming had four first-half yellow cards, but then scored a pair of goals in the second half to overcome a 1-0 deficit.

Eastern tallied two yellow cards of their own in the second half, to go along with 12 fouls and few other costly mistakes.

"I felt like we put together a good 90 minutes, but it's the same old story in the second half," said head coach George Hageage. "We gave up those two goals and made mistakes that shouldn't have been made. Unfortunately, it was our older players rather than our freshmen this time. We finally got our freshmen on board, but a couple of mistakes by the older players put two goals in the back of our net."

The first of Wyoming's two goals was a deflection off of a free kick, while the second goal was kicked from the right side by Sheree Small and headed in by Kayla Davis.

Wyoming freshman Sara Paul, who was invited to practice with the Canadian National team before the 2011 Women's World Cup, was a big concern coming into the game for the Eagles. Hageage commended his young team for doing such a good job in containing the dangerous forward.

"We kept Paul under wraps for the most part," he said. "She didn't beat us on the dribble, which was a huge concern for us, especially when she gets a 1-on-1 opportunity. She tried to make a move a couple times, but we supported each other very well. She never really broke through."

With the loss, Eastern's record falls to 0-5-0, something that Hageage wanted to avoid. He is excited about the potential his team has, but he has yet to see anyone step up and be a leader.

"The problem is, when push comes to shove, we don't have that mentality yet to fight through adversity," he said. "We gave up one goal and there was no response from the team and nobody saying 'Heck no, this isn't happening again.' We need that drive, motivation and leadership from our players.

I think there are some freshmen that want to do it but just haven't figured out how to quite yet. The season is going by fast, so they need to develop that voice now."

Eastern's next match will be against Gonzaga in Cheney on Saturday (Sept. 10) at 1 p.m.

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