October 30, 2007

Eagles Looking for Best Season Ever

Oct. 30, 2007

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The Eastern Washington University women's soccer team (7-8, 2-4 Big Sky Conference) plays a game on the road against Montana Friday (Nov. 2) at 3 p.m. Pacific Time, then heads home to play Utah Valley State Sunday (Nov. 4) at 11 a.m. for Senior Day.

The Eagles could have their best season ever with a win this week to break the record for most wins in a season. Eastern currently has seven wins to tie the 2004 record.

"It is a little disappointing that we didn't get that goal (of going to the Big Sky Tournament) but if we will win the next two we have our first winning season," said Eagle head coach George Hageage. "If we score some more goals we can add to our record and hopefully Cyeeta can score some goals and get more shots. We have accomplished a lot. That is the goal for sure, to have over a .500 season."

The Grizzlies (3-11-2, 1-3-2 BSC) will host Eastern for their Senior Day. Last week, Montana lost to Idaho State 1-0 and tied Weber State 1-1.

"It is always tough to play at Montana but we tend to do pretty well competing against them year in and year out," added Hageage. "Our goals really are to win this last game in conference and finish 3-4 for the season and be tied for fourth."

The Wolverines (5-13-1) beat Southern Utah 1-0 on Saturday, Oct. 27.

"It should be a pretty fun atmosphere I think," said Hageage. "The Cheney Storm club is going to bring many of its teams. It should be a great way to send off our six seniors."

The Eagles lost to Weber State 1-0 in double overtime on Thursday (Oct. 25) and beat Idaho State 1-0 on Sunday (Oct. 28).

The Eagles hold the record as a team for single-season goals with 23. The previous record was 21 held by the 2000 team.

Junior Morgan O'Friel had the Eagles' goal to beat Idaho State. Her goal was a cross from Jocelyn Bement in the 66th minute. That goal was her second game-winning goal this season to tie the single-season game winning goals record of two. She is tied with Shelly Ikerd (2006) and Cyeeta Mott (2004).

Freshman Jessica Blessard had a total of 198 minutes, 27 seconds in goal with 15 saves and the first shutout of her career in those two matches. Blessard was named BSC Co-Defensive Player of the Week after her performances this weekend.

Blessard, from North Bend, Wash., had 11 saves in a 1-0 loss to Weber and four saves in a 1-0 shutout over Idaho State. She has played in a total of seven games and started the last four, in addition to playing four junior varsity games.

"We are very excited for her," said assistant coach Tamara Hageage. "This year we are blessed to have two really outstanding goalkeepers, Ashley Renz and Jessica Blessard. Ashley carried us through over half of the season and Jessica has stepped in now."

With the Big Sky Conference Tournament right around the corner, only four teams will be competing. The Eagles will not be one of those teams.

"We are the only sport that takes four. It is kind of disappointing the conference hasn't figured out that six teams is probably the most fair way to do it," said Eagles head coach George Hageage. "I think if you look right now you can take any of the teams to be honest with you and on any given day they can beat another team. It is disappointing we won't be able to play for the conference tournament."

The Eagles will be losing six seniors that play big roles on the field.

"We get our whole midfield back," said Hageage. "We have to replace a couple of defenders here with Cynita (Mott) and Carrie (Conners) leaving and they are going to be hard to replace. We also have Cyeeta (Mott) up top to replace but we have a pretty good group coming back."

 

 

NOTES:
The Eagles beat Idaho State Sunday (Oct. 28) 1-0. Morgan O'Friel scored the goal with the cross coming from Jocelyn Bement in the 66th minute.

Eastern lost to Weber State Thursday (Oct. 25) 1-0 in double overtime. Freshman Jessica Blessard recorded a total of 11 saves in the loss.

Senior Cyeeta Mott holds the school record in single-season shots with 49. She holds career records in goals (12), points (29), shots (126) and game-winning goals (5). Mott is about to break records in single-season goals and points. Traci Jellison (2002) and Liz Hail (2001) hold the single-season goals record with five; Mott has four. She is also tied with them in points with 10.

"We have two games left so hopefully she can add to her records," added Eagles head coach George Hageage.

The Eagles lost to Sacramento State 4-0 on Oct. 21. Blessard recorded a total of six saves in the loss.

Senior Cyeeta Mott and junior Brittney Doran scored for the Eagles in their 2-1win over Portland State on Oct. 19.

Sophomore Chelsey Hannesson and junior Nicole De Shazo had the goals for the Eagles in a 3-2 loss to Northern Arizona on Oct. 14.

Doran had the Eagles' only goal in their game on Oct. 12 against Northern Colorado, a 3-1 loss. Her goal came in the 43rd minute off of a penalty kick.

Junior Abby Jensen is about to break the school record for single-season goals with four. Traci Jellison (2002) and Liz Hail (2001) hold the record with five goals apiece. Jensen has a total of six goals in her career. Four came in a three-game span this year from Sept. 28-Oct. 7.

Jensen was named Big Sky Conference Offensive Player of the Week for the week of Oct. 1.


The University of Washington defeated Eastern 2-1 Sept. 28. The Eagles had the lead going into halftime 1-0 with a goal by Jensen. The Huskies then struck back with two goals of their own in the last five minutes.

The visiting Eagles beat San Jose State 3-2 Sept. 30. The goals came from Jensen, who scored twice. The other came from Mott with the assist coming from Koelzer.

Eastern defeated Utah State 2-1 at home Sept. 23. The goals came from juniors O'Friel and Lillian Bourret.

The Eagles beat Cal State Bakersfield 1-0 at home Sept. 14. Hannesson had the only goal in the 86th minute on a free kick from 25 yards out.

Eastern lost to Boise State 3-1 Sept. 16 in Boise, Idaho. The only goal for the Eagles was in the fourth minute by Mott.

The Eagles played at the NAU Mountain Classic against Lamar University on Aug. 31 and won 5-0 to start the season 1-0 for the first time in school history. It was only the second time EWU had ever scored five goals in a game. The last time was back on Oct. 11, 1997, in a 6-0 win over Carroll College. That was the inaugural year of EWU's soccer program.

The Eagles held a soccer camp Sept. 19 to raise money for South Pines Elementary School. The clinic was hosted by the EWU coaching staff and players after practice for two hours.

 

 

QUOTES:
George Hageage on Jessica Blessard on being BSC Co-Defensive Player of the Week: "We are really excited for Jessica. We are pretty fortunate we have a couple pretty good goalkeepers (Ashley Renz and Jessica Blessard) that will be coming back next year."

George Hageage on a 1-0 loss to Sacramento State: "We were down 1-0 at halftime against the Hornets and I thought we were in pretty good shape because we didn't have any starters in the last 15 minutes of the game, and that was the time we were starting to take it to them."

George Hageage on a 2-1 win over Portland State: "I thought we played pretty well. We just seemed to slow down in our possession throughout the second half. We just need to get back to playing simple. We are scoring some goals and that is good. Unfortunately we have been shut out twice."

George Hageage on the 3-2 loss to Northern Arizona: "We came out a little flat and they were able to capitalize right away. I think the disappointing thing right now is that we are not setting the tone early on like we have in some of the other games."

George Hageage on Abby Jensen: "Abby is doing really well. We are starting to be able to use our outside midfielders a little bit, and she is just cleaning up the stuff that is coming out of the box. She is doing a great job."

George Hageage On Beating Idaho 2-1: "It was a good game for us. We pretty much dominated. There was about a 15-20 mile per hour wind. So in the first half we had it and were on top of them. In the second half it kind of evened out play and they got some shots off and we were really dangerous until that penalty kick."

George Hageage On Beating San Jose State 3-2: "It was a good comeback from being down 2-0. Their stadium is really small. We play on the football field basically. It is a very short, narrow field, and the system of play we like wasn't appropriate for that field."

George Hageage On Playing Washington a 2-1 loss: "They were surprised with our pace and our ability to hold the ball, and I don't think they were ready for it."

George Hageage On Abby Jensen Being Named Big Sky Conference Offensive Player of the Week: "Three goals in two games is hard to beat. Unfortunately it wasn't the game-winning goal against Washington."

George Hageage On Beating Utah State 2-1: "We played really well the first 15 minutes of the game. We matched up real well with them. We used the outside midfielders a lot and started to attack."

George Hageage On Playing Against Boise State: "We silenced the crowd really quick but were never really able to put some of our other shots away and that kind of cost us. We played well enough to win and credit Boise State on its 3-1 win, because they capitalized on their chances and we just didn't finish some of ours. In terms of the overall game, we played well enough to win that one, and that is what makes it so disappointing."

George Hageage On Competing Against Cal State Bakersfield With a 1-0 Win: "In one of their scouting reports it says they were going to be weak over the top of the goalkeeper. So that is something we tried to do, and we are really happy Chelsey (Hannesson) put it on frame from 25 yards out. That shot is actually something we have been working on. That was her second this year. So anything within that kind of range, we are really trying to pound those free kicks in, because obviously she has that kind of range."

George Hageage On the 2-0 Loss Against Gonzaga: "My worry with Gonzaga was they were going to come out strong. Since the Bulldogs are a good team and they had already lost two games, we knew if they put pressure on us, we might be in for a long day. We couldn't handle it right off the bat real well, and that is the unfortunate part."

George Hageage On the Second Half Improvement Against Gonzaga: "We are going to take from that and grow from it. What we showed in the second half is we could play, and that is encouraging. We haven't done that in a couple of years, actually tried to play with Gonzaga. We didn't alter our tactics at all, and I couldn't say that at all the last two years. This year we decided to play them pretty much straight up, take our best shot and they take their best shot. Unfortunately, the first half was their best shot and they ended up having two go in."

George Hageage On Possibly Pushing Back the Game Against the Bulldogs: "It is really hard for both of us to do with our conference schedules, but if we could push the game back so we are both in school (Eastern started classes on Sept. 26), then I think you will see a lot of people showing up for that game."

George Hageage On starting season off 1-0: "It was a good game for us. We got a lot of things accomplished. It was definitely a good game to start off with (a 5-0 win over Lamar)."

George Hageage On how EWU played in its first game: "It is always a struggle to come off (1-0). But I think the other thing that helped us out was being on our own wide field for preseason, because we were able to use width. We looked ready for the game in terms of using the whole field. I think that helped out quite a bit."

George Hageage On how Eastern played against Temple University: "It is a big difference between conference and non-conference. We battled real well statistically; it was pretty even. It was one of those unfortunate things (a 3-2 double-overtime loss). We gave them opportunities that were softer and we need to clean that up."

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