Saturday, April 14, 2012

Gonzaga edges EWU in spring friendly

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On a cool Saturday morning, Gonzaga University and nearby Eastern Washington University squared off in a spring season women’s soccer exhibition that finished 1-0 in favor of the hosts in downtown Spokane. Though the match was a friendly, the competition was quite physical as both sides showed they meant business in preparing for the fall.

The three-period contest was dominated, for the most part, by Gonzaga, who limited Eastern’s opportunities to score to very few. Meanwhile, the Zags were regularly in the offensive third but could not find the finishing to make the score reflect the chances on goal.

Gonzaga had plenty of attack early with back to back chances in the ninth minute come close and the ensuing corner sent over the goal. Two minutes later midfielder Kasey Rubosky sent a nice ball from the left behind the defense to Kenzie Lubeck, creating a one-on-one with the keeper. Lubeck, however, would be stuffed by the charging netminder, who made several nice stops in the contest.

In the 16th minute, a punt from the Gonzaga keeper found its way to Rubosky, who dribbled through some space before narrowly missing the upper left corner on a shot from distance.

Gonzaga thought they had the lead just before the first break when they caught the defense flat with a through ball, but Rubosky's tally was negated by the offside flag.

As intense as the first half was, the Zags came out pressing hard and went right at the visitors. Seven minutes into the second frame Emma Dolcetti, who assisted on the lone goal in the spring opening win at the University of Idaho, was dragged down just outside the box. The free kick was sent into the wall and the follow up scramble popped out to the Eagles, who had their best chance of the game to that point on the counter. Defender Danielle Simien, however, showed her pace and closed in on the play to shut the counter-attack down before Eastern had a chance to score.

In the 46th minute a ball bounced through the area to an open Lubeck at the edge of the six, but her blast was stuffed point blank by the keeper. The ensuing corner from Tori Lee, the goal scorer against Idaho, sent the corner to the far side of the box, finding Sarah Rhodes who drove the ball up into the goal from about eight yards out.

Just before the second break the Zags nearly doubled the score when they intercepted the ball and ripped a shot from 40 that was tipped off the crossbar.

As both showed tired legs, Gonzaga had three more quality chances in the final 30 minutes of the contest with Emily Eckmann glancing a header just off the outside of the post in the 72nd.