September 8, 2008

Eastern Washington Heads to Dakotas

Sept. 8, 2008

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Heading back on the road.

After playing 4-of-5 contests away from home to start the 2008 campaign, the Eastern Washington University women’s soccer team will once again hit the road. This time the Eagles travel to the Mount Rushmore State to play South Dakota State and North Dakota State at the SDSU Invitational.

Eastern Washington (0-4-1) will first play the hosts, SDSU, at 5 p.m. Pacific Time on Friday (Sept. 12) and then take on NDSU at 8 a.m. on Sunday (Sept. 14).

The Jackrabbits and Bison are each 2-2-0, although North Dakota State will play host to Mary (N.D.) on Tuesday (Sept. 9) and take on Iowa State on Friday before facing Eastern two days later.

This road trip will mark the last time Eastern will leave the state of Washington until its Big Sky opener on Oct. 9 at Idaho State. A home game with Idaho and road trips to Gonzaga, Washington State and Seattle University will take place between this weekend and the commencement of league play.

April Scores Goal on First Collegiate Shot     
Midfielder April Coffin could not have gotten her collegiate career off to a better start, as the freshman scored a goal on her first-ever shot.

In the 31st minute of Eastern’s 1-1 tie with Louisiana-Lafayette on Aug. 29, she blocked a clearing attempt, chased down the loose ball and tapped it into the empty net to give EWU a 1-0 advantage.

The goal came in just her second collegiate game.

Eagles Double Scoring Output Versus CSUB

Eastern Washington got its scoring touch late in the second half of its game with Cal State Bakersfield on Friday (Sept. 5), doubling its season scoring output.

An Abby Jensen penalty put the Eagles on the scoreboard, which was quickly followed by Lauryn Koelzer scoring a few minutes later. Assisting Koelzer on her goal were Chelsey Hannesson and Sara Byrne.

Koelzer also had a role in the first goal, as she was fouled by CSUB’s goalkeeper on a breakaway, causing the penalty to be awarded.

Unfortunately for Eastern, the Roadrunners had possessed a 3-0 advantage and held on for a 3-2 win.

Eagles Look to Keep Improving                                   
Eastern Washington is looking to coninously improve in 2008 and be prepared for the start of Big Sky Conference play on Oct. 9.

“We’re still trying to find an identity, trying to figure out what kind of style we want to play,” head coach George Hageage said. “We’ve been a little inconsistent, have possessed the ball well at times, but not as much at others.

“We’re also looking at moving to a three-front. We did that against Bakersfield and scored two goals and we started that way against (No. 22) Missouri, and it worked in terms of keeping them off balance a little.

“And our ability to possess the ball is getting there – if we can make that the signature of our team, we’re going to do real well in the Big Sky.”

Playing for a Championship
                                   
The Big Sky Conference’s regular-season champion will play host to this year’s Championship the first week of November. Depending on the host team’s preference, the semifinals will be played on either Nov. 6 or 7, and the title contest will take place on either Nov. 8 or 9.

Last year, Sacramento State won the regular-season crown with a 4-0-3 league record and then claimed the tournament championship with 2-1 and 3-0 wins over Portland State and Northern Colorado, respectively.

The winner earns the league’s automatic berth into the NCAA Championship, which will commence on Nov. 14.

2007 Recap                        
The Eastern Washington Eagles are coming off a remarkable season that was the best in school history on many levels.

Most impressively, EWU posted its first winning season (9-8-0) since the inaugural year of the program, 1997. That squad went 5-4-3 against a schedule that included six junior colleges.

The 2007 Eagles narrowly missed qualifying for the Big Sky Conference Championship, finishing in a fifth-place tie with a 3-4-0 league mark.

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