October 12, 2008

Koelzer Ties School Record, Eagles Lose Heartbreaker

Oct. 12, 2008

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The Big Sky Conference women’s soccer game between Eastern Washington and Weber State on Sunday afternoon (Oct. 12) in Cheney, Wash., was an incredibly intense, emotional game that saw a saved penalty kick in overtime, a game-winning score with 12 seconds left, three cards and a school record tied. Weber State prevailed in the gripping contest by a 2-1 score in double overtime.

After WSU’s Hayley McCoy scored less than three minutes into the game (2:27) into the bottom right corner of the net to give the Wildcats a very early advantage, EWU (2-8-3, 0-1-1 BSC) took control of the rest of the first half, outshooting Weber State 11-6 in the stanza.

The culmination of that domination came at the 34:35 mark, courtesy of Lauryn Koelzer, as she stole a WSU pass, dribbled around the goalkeeper’s right and shot it into the open net. The score was her sixth of the season and ties the school record, which she now shares with Cyeeta Mott, who had six last season.

Koelzer also now has nine in her two-year career (the senior transferred from Walla Walla Community College), and that total ties her for third in that category in school annals.

“Lauryn is a very composed player on the ball, is a hard worker, is fit and is strong,” assistant coach Tamara Hageage said. “I am very excited and am hopeful she will break the record.”

After the break, Weber State (5-6-2, 2-0-0 BSC) played strongly in the second half, outshooting Eastern 13-5, but the Eagles defense bended, but did not break, and the teams headed to overtime and, subsequently, to double overtime, still knotted at one apiece. With less than 15 minutes to go in the second half (75:54), Eastern head coach George Hageage received a red card.

At the 106:15 mark, the Wildcats were awarded a penalty kick for a foul in the box, which Eastern goalkeeper Ashley Renz dramatically saved, leaping to her left and tipping McCoy’s attempt further to the left. In the ensuing scrum for the still-live ball, Eastern’s Hannah Kreminski was given a red card and Weber’s Shaylee Hyde received a yellow card.

Now playing 10-on-11, the Eagles desperately did everything they could to keep Weber State off the scoreboard the final four minutes to attain a well-deserved tie, but the Wildcats earned a victory in the most heartbreaking of fashions. With 12 seconds remaining, at the 109:48 mark, McCoy doubled her goal total for the day when she dribbled into the box and slotted the ball past Renz to end the game.

“We know how to play overtime (today was Eastern’s fifth overtime affair of the season),” Tamara Hageage said. “We gutted it out, and the players did exactly what I asked them to do and fought hard, but things just did not bounce our way.”

Overall, the shot totals came out extremely even, as the McCoy’s game-ending shot and goal bumped Weber State to a 21-20 advantage in that category. EWU had the edge in corner kicks, 4-3.

The Eagles now look to bounce back against the defending Big Sky champions, as EWU will take on Sacramento in California’s capital city at 1:30 p.m. on Friday (Oct. 17). This year, the Hornets are 7-6-1, 1-1-0 in Big Sky play, after beating Northern Colorado 4-0 today.

“If we continue what we are doing, our high work rate, our pressure and defending  in the midfield, I feel really confident going into Sacramento State,” Tamara Hageage said. “We have won there before and we can do it again (previous wins came by 4-0 and 1-0 scores in 2004 and 2002, respectively).”

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