Saturday, October 5, 2013

Portland State posts 2-0 road win at Eastern Washington

Eagles fall on two first half goals in Big Sky home opener | Photos: Gerald Barnhart - GALLERY
The Portland State Vikings maintained their position at the top of the Big Sky table with their third win of the season, using two quality strikes in the first half to down host Eastern Washington, which is now 0-3.

Lynsey Gaines (center)
The score certainly did not represent the even amount of play in the contest as both sides finished fairly even statistically in most other areas, but the Vikings strikers were able to finish chances on their own despite being alone amidst defensive pressure.

Their first came in the 20th minute when a ball from Lynsey Gaines found Cori Bianchini in the area and although she was contending with two defenders and appeared to be working toward the right, drawing goalkeeper Nathalie Schwery in that direction, she poked the ball on the bounce the opposite direction to the left side of the goal from about eight yards.

They doubled the lead about eight minutes later on a fantastic strike from Gaines. A long ball forward was chested down by the striker, who quickly turned and struck the ball on the volley, finding the the back right corner of the goal from about 23 yards out.

"Portland State is a good team and took care of the couple chances that they had," said EWU head coach George Hageage. "It's unfortunate again that we are not finding the back of the net. I thought there was a couple dangerous opportunities for us, but not enough."

Cassie Black
The Eagles had the better of play in the the opening 10 minutes as the visitors felt them out and forced an easy diving stop from former Spokane Shine goalkeeper Caitlin Plese two minutes into the match on a shot inside the box by Siara Byers. After the initial phase, though, PSU began to explore the offensive end more frequently as the game evened out, but would ultimately find their two tallies on the counter.

Between the goals Eastern had two good looks from Cassie Black. The striker fired a quality shot narrowly left of the post from the top of the box in the 24th minute and then sent one just over the crossbar two minutes later from about 24 yards. Five minutes before the break Jessica Wallace also sent an indirect free kick just over the goal.

"I thought we played really well against this team; I think the shots were fairly even, and corner kicks were fairly even. We've played three out of the four [semifinalists] from last year's Big Sky Conference tournament to start the season and.. man, we just can't find the back of the net. But I think the intensity is good and some of the combination play has been good; some of it hasn't, but we'll figure that out as we go along."