|Local foes Eastern Washington and Gonzaga squared off once again Tuesday | Photos: Gerald Barnhart - GALLERY|
Johnson (Kennewick, WA), though, put the Zags in front in the 31st minute with a run up through the midfield that finished with an blistering shot from 24 yards toward the upper corner that caught EWU keeper Nathalie Schwery by surprise.
The Eagles nearly pulled even just before the break when a long bouncing ball toward the left side of the box put Siara Byers shoulder-to-shoulder with Cricket Harber battling for the ball. Harber got the initial touch on the ball with a header directed back to the keeper, but it was not strong enough and Byers was able to get her foot to it, poking it toward the upper left corner only to see goalkeeper Christie Tombari (Spokane Valley, WA) fully stretch out to snare it.
|Karley Baggerly, Kayla Sutter|
"We've played a lot of tough opponents and some of them have pressed us in different ways, and I think today was one of those lessons that we have to learn. We have to compete," said Eastern Washington head coach George Hageage. "I thought the soccer was good when we had opportunities and chances to pull it down and just pass it around, and Gonzaga doesn't do that. They kick it and 'we got to get to the ball and we push it on,' and that's just their style. We need to learn how to play that, because that's Big Sky. What they are doing is the Idaho States, the Southern Utahs; that's what we are gonna have to face in the Big Sky. Good for us to see it today, because we haven't seen it this year."
Five minutes later Johnson netted her second, collecting a long cross from the far side of the area and finishing near left post past the charging Schwery to make it 3-0 in the 53rd.
"Second half I was pretty excited from the standpoint that once the game was out of hand a little bit we started getting some of the younger kids in there, and I thought they did pretty well; at least competed. And we have some players coming off injuries that we are getting back," Hageage said.
"I am pretty excited for the rest of the season; the Big Sky is wide open. If you look at who we've played and who some of the other teams have played in the Big Sky, I think we are right there. It's just gonna come down to if we can create scoring opportunities and then finish them, because that's been, not so much this game, but the first five games have been like that. We have had opportunities to put balls into the back of the net and we haven't done it. Hopefully we'll get back on track."
Eastern Washington @ Gonzaga Highlights