EOU’s Haley Hill heads the ball during the Mountaineers’ 1-1 tie with Oregon Tech Friday. The Mountaineers also tied with Southern Oregon on Sunday to finish the regular season. Eastern Oregon wrapped up the year with a 1-13-1 overall record and went 1-6-1 in the Cascade Collegiate Conference. BRAD MOSHER - The Observer
Eastern Oregon University closed out its 2012 season with a pair of ties at home that has first-year coach Jennifer Simonetti looking forward to next season.
“It was a great team effort by our women today. I think we just need to have a little more composure,” she said Sunday after watching the Lady Mountaineers end their home season with a 1-1 tie against Southern Oregon.
The hosts were working on an upset of the Lady Raiders after scoring a goal in the first half on Kelli Jones’ shot 23 minutes into the contest off a pass from Mauriana Gonzales.
Southern Oregon entered the game in a battle with Oregon Tech for third place in the Cascade Conference standings.
The Raiders entered Sunday’s game with a 5-2-1 record, while the Mountaineers were 1-6-1
The top four teams qualified for the conference playoffs, with Northwest (7-1-1) getting the championship and the top playoff seed.
Northwest, which defeated Eastern Oregon by just a 1-0 margin Oct. 19 in Kirkland, Wash., handed Concordia a 1-0 defeat Friday.
Oregon Tech handed Northwest a 2-0 defeat and the lone tie was against Southern Oregon.
Concordia was second in the standings with 7-2 record after losing two straight in the final three conference games.
Northwest Christian University needed two overtimes to pull out a 1-0 win over Concordia Oct. 20, then Northwest added a crucial win over the Lady Cavs Friday, 1-0, that assured the title wasn’t going to be shared with Concordia.
The Cavs finished 13-2-2 for the season after an 8-0 win over Evergreen State Sunday, while Northwest won the title with just a 8-8 season record.
Concordia will host Southern Oregon Saturday in the first playoff round, while Northwest will play Oregon Tech.
The tie against one of the strongest teams in the conference pleased Simonetti, but she was hoping for the victory more.
It wasn’t until late in game that the Raiders final got on the scoreboard with score by Julie Zamzow — with just 3:13 left on the clock.
She got an assist from Jacquie Galvez.
Southern Oregon dominated the shooting, having a 13-3 edge in the first half and an 11-3 edge in the second.
The Raiders even had an 8-3 edge in corner kicks Sunday.
“We didn’t give them very many opportunities, other than the corner kick,” Simonetti said about her squad in the second half.
“The rest of their shots came from 25 to 35 yards out. Those aren’t as dangerous.
“That worked defensively for us. We just forgot to open up and go forward and that is how we let them score,” she said.
The team needs to know how to read the games and know when to open up and when to set back, the coach added.
“We’ll work on it,” Simonetti said.
“Anytime you have the record we have this season and you finish out your last two games with two of your best results against one of the top teams in the conference... that says a lot about the women and the pride they have.”
The record might not show it, but Simonetti said that the Mountaineers really finished out the season, which most teams wouldn’t do.
The Mountaineers had several opportunities to score Sunday and add to their lead, the coach said.
“Their keeper made a couple of good saves and we missed a couple of shots. That is just the way the ball bounces. That has kind of been our luck when it comes to scoring this season.”
In the overtime, the Mountaineers had several scoring chances stopped by Raiders’ goalie Katelyn Allen, who finished the game with two saves. Eastern Oregon’s Kailey Moss also had two saves.
The Lady Mountaineers will only lose one player to graduation, Quincy Moore, who joined as a junior college transfer.
Simonetti still is looking for new players to add to next year’s squad. “If we could get a Mia Hamm on the team, that would be great,” Simonetti said with a big smile.
“We will be looking for some forwards, that is for sure.
“Luckily, we do bring back 18 of our 19 players next year,” the coach added. The team has gone through several coaches in the past three seasons.
“You go through a lot of transition when you have a lot of different coaches.
“I think this team is not only picking up, but buying into what we are trying to do with the program.
“With 18 back, if we can add some freshmen to that, then it will be a much better season.”
EOU ties Owls Friday, 1-1
The Mountaineers had to settle for a 1-1 tie with the Lady Owls Friday.
Freshman Claire Posadas was the only scorer for the Mountaineers, hitting one of her four shots early in the second half.
EOU held the 1-0 lead for about 20 minutes before the Owls scored on a shot by A.J. Castle, tying the game at the 72:41 mark.
The Owls had a 33-25 edge in shots.
Moss, the Mountaineer goalkeeper, had seven saves, while Alyssa Ray had six for the Owls.