ELLENSBURG, Wash. – Backed by a season-high in goals and the third shutout of the season, the Western Oregon University women’s soccer team rolled to the 3-0 road victory at Central Washington on Thursday night in Great Northwest Athletic Conference action at Tomlinson Stadium.
“We felt great about our performance tonight. The team effort was outstanding. We were very creative in the final third of the field. It felt like all the pieces came together for us. The back line and defense were dominate and confident getting the shutout,” head coach Kacey Bingham said.
Three Wolves accounted for the goals to lead the offensive firepower. Jada Foster got things started for WOU (3-5-1, 2-2-1 GNAC) in the 23rd minute when she fired a deep shot from roughly 35 yards out that went in for the goal and a 1-0 lead. Foster’s goal gives her three on the season. Erika Gonzalez Moreno picked up the assist.
Just a few minutes after that goal, WOU was right back on the attack. Off a corner kick by Chloe Smith, Gonzalez Moreno picked up her second assist of the night setting up Piper Matson who was able to get behind the defense and stick a shot into the low far post for a goal in the 26th minute to give WOU a 2-0 lead. Maston’s goal is also her third of the season, tying her with Foster for the team lead.
While the Wolves were able to put a couple of goals in during the first half, Emily Wheeler and the defense came up with some big plays to keep Central Washington (1-8, 0-5 GNAC) off the board early on. Wheeler came away with a save in the sixth minute and then during a rush around the 18th minute, WOU blocked a shot and then Wheeler recorded a save. Just a few minutes after that, the Wolves took the lead for good.
WOU came out in the second half on fire. Liz Parker had a shot on goal just over four minutes in that was saved. Parker kept applying the pressure, getting another two shots off, with one going wide and the other being saved again. Parker wouldn’t be denied later on. Following a shot by Briana Kubli that wasn’t controlled by the goalie, Parker was there to collect the rebound and the goal in the 61st minute for the 3-0 lead. It was Parker’s first goal of the season, as Kubli picked up the assist.
The back row helped preserve the shutout down the stretch with Olivia Holdenried playing the final 15-plus minutes in goal, she recorded her first collegiate save in the 90th minute to give WOU the 3-0 victory.
WOU held a 14-10 advantage in shots, including 9-4 on goal. WOU held a big edge in corner kicks, generating 10 corner kicks to just one for CWU. There were 24 fouls whistled in the game, 15 called on WOU.
The Wolves had three players play all 90 minutes including Jenna Efraimson, Hannah Rispler and Foster helping power the back line to a shutout. Parker led the offense with four shots, while Matson and Smith added three shots apiece. In goal, Emily Wheeler picked up the win playing the first nearly 75 minutes and coming away with three saves. Holdenried went the final 15-plus minutes and tallied a save.
Central Washington was led by Sophia Keenan’s three shots, while Paige Devine added two shots. Liz Canton started in goal and played the first half, allowing two goals and three saves. Megan Fox went the second half and allowed one goal, while adding three saves.
WOU, now 2-0-1 over their past three games, will remain on the road this Saturday when they travel to Idaho to face Northwest Nazarene with a 1 p.m. (Pacific) start time. Northwest Nazarene picked up the 2-0 win at home earlier Thursday against Saint Martin’s.