The Final Friday of the Big Sky season will certainly be dramatic. With Idaho picking up a draw and a win at home this weekend, the Vandals ensured at least a share of the regular season championship going into their last game, but Eastern Washington rebounded from a Friday defeat by winning at North Dakota to keep the Vandals within reach.
Hosting Montana, a side still working to return to the postseason, in their finale, the Eagles could earn a share of the title and the right to host the Big Sky tournament if they post a win and the Vandals fall to in-state foe Idaho State in their home finale.
A pair of tight contests on the weekend earned Montana (4-2-3, 15 points) a narrow win and a scoreless draw, leaving them tied for fourth in the table as the race for the remaining three of six berths are up for grabs. Also in the mix are Northern Arizona (15 points), Northern Colorado (13), Portland State (13) and Idaho State (12).
The Bengals still have an outside shot at reaching the postseason despite dropping both matches on the weekend, but will need some help in addition to posting a win at Idaho.
Friday, October 21
Northern Arizona 2 :: 2 Idaho #####
Playing in a quagmire, the Vandals rallied twice to earn a 2-2 draw and remain atop the league table. Riley Porter combined with Adrian Nixt to set up Ali Lixandru for the Lumberjacks five minutes into the match, but a cross from Emma Eddy was knocked in from inside the six by Clara Gomez 10 minutes later to even things up. A lobbed shot from Porter took an odd bounce in the 71st minute, beating Torell Stewart to put the visitors back in front, and it looked like they would have the win when the Vandals scored off a loose ball following a corner. Amanda Pease (Bend, OR) blasted it into the top of the net with just five seconds remaining. MORE [+]
Northern Colorado 3 :: 2 Eastern Washington #####
The Eagles took the early lead when Chloe Williams (Spokane, WA) and Allison Raniere combined to set up Delaney Romero (Yakima, WA / Walla Walla CC) for the opening goal just over three minutes in. The Bears answered in the 30th through Paige Morris, but Aimie Inthoulay scored her first of the year to put the hosts back in front. The Bears, however, scored two unanswered in the second half via Mariel Gutierrez and Kenzie Engelkins to snare the victory. MORE [+]
North Dakota 0 :: OT :: 1 Montana #####
The Grizzlies outshot the visitors 26-3, but only seven of them were on target, forcing six saves from Olivia Swenson before Hallie Widner (Meridian, ID) struck nine minutes into extra time. McKenzie Warren beat a defender to the left endline and sent a cross into the box that Widner first-timed into the goal. Kailey Norman had one save in the shutout. MORE [+]
Southern Utah 3 :: 0 Idaho State #####
Facing one of the bottom teams in the league, the Bengals were shutout for the first time since they were blanked twice on opening weekend of league play - a five game streak. And it was all the work of Ally Thimson, who scored 10 minutes in and again in the 24th. She went on to finish the hat-trick with 10 minutes left to cap the game. MORE [+]
Weber State 0 :: 1 Sacramento State #####
With just over six minutes left in regulation Adaurie Dayak scored to put the Hornets even with Idaho in the table on points. Kaylyn Evans registered the shutout.
Sunday, October 23
Southern Utah 0-4 Idaho #####
Emma Eddy scored the opening goal four minutes into the match on a ball from Elexis Schlossarek. Despite outshooting the visitors 10-5 in the half, the score would remain 1-0 until Eddy tallied her second six minutes into the second half on a play set up by Schlossarek and Olivia Baggerly. Freshman Myah Merino put the match well out of reach with a penalty in the 69th after being taken down in the box and Morgan Crosby (Spokane, WA) capped the game by blasting a free kick into the upper corner in the 73rd. Torell Stewart made five saves for the shutout. MORE [+]
Eastern Washington 6 :: 1 North Dakota #####
After Friday's disappointing result, the Eagles bounced back by blasting last-place North Dakota. Chloe Williams (Spokane, WA) netted just four minutes into the match on a ball from Allison Raniere, but the hosts answered in the 11th on a goal from Karleen Yapello. It was all Eastern after that, though, as they outshot the hosts 35-9. Williams fed Delaney Romero (Yakima, WA / Walla Walla CC) in the 21st and just over a minute later Aimie Inthoulay found Jenny Chavez to double the lead. Williams scored her second in the 42nd on a ball from Dunbar for a three goal lead at the break. Romero set up Devan Talley in the opening minute of the second half and Dunbar netted herself in the 67th courtesy of Raniere, giving the team a program record high six goals in a game. MORE [+]
Northern Colorado 0 :: 0 Montana #####
The Grizzlies outshot the Bears 19-11 on the day, but could not get one past Alyssa McGuire, who made seven saves for the visitors. Kailey Norman only needed to make a pair of saves at the other end to give the Griz the draw. MORE [+]
Northern Arizona 1 :: 0 Idaho State #####
Madeline Wasczak scored on a ball from Lindsay Doyle 13 minutes into the match and the Lumberjacks held on for the victory with Meghan Dickmann making five saves for the shutout. MORE [+]
Weber State 1 :: OT :: 2 Portland State #####
The Wildcats grabbled the early lead with Lana Willard scoring seven minutes into the contest, but the Vikings tied it up when Krystal De Ramos stole the ball in the 30th minute when the keeper misplayed it. The two sides were deadlocked in the second half, but De Ramos set up the game-winner four minutes into overtime when she found Breann Chilton-Eddy, who launched a 35-yard effort into the upper corner for the win.
Remaining Regular Season Schedule #####
Friday, October 28
Idaho State @ Idaho
Montana @ Eastern Washington
North Dakota @ Northern Colorado 6:00
Southern Utah @ Northern Arizona 7:00
Sacramento State @ Portland State