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Eastern Oregon’s Tori Fedora battles with a University of Great Falls defender in the first half of the Mountaineers’ 3-2 victory Monday. Fedora scored a goal in the win. (Casey Kellas/The Observer)
Eastern Oregon women improve to 2-0 with win over Argos
This season was supposed to be a new start for the Eastern Oregon University women’s soccer team. And so far, the Mountaineers are off to a good start.
EOU surpassed its win total from a year ago with a 3-2 overtime victory over the University of Great Falls Monday to wrap up the Mountaineer Madness Tournament.
The game was tied at 2-all when Erika
“Sydney (Nelson) and Haley (Hill) were fighting for the ball in the corner and Sydney crossed it and I stuck out my foot and kicked it in,” Whitehurst said of her game-winning goal.
The win improves EOU to 2-0 this season.
“I’ll definitely take the win,” EOU head coach Jennifer Simonetti said. “We went into the same situation against this team last year and we lost those games. So, this says a lot about our team in terms of how they responded and stayed positive and kept working for the win.”
The game wasn’t all smooth sailing for EOU.
Eastern Oregon and Great Falls battled to a scoreless tie at the end of the first half. Both teams had their fair share of scoring opportunities, but neither team could deliver.
EOU outshot the Argonauts, 8-6, in the first half.
“We talked about defensive shape (at halftime),” Simonetti said. “We were making our forwards defend a bit too much. We sorted that out so our forwards could be more attack-minded. We didn’t change any players or personnel. It was more changing our defensive shape to give us more energy in the attack.”
That strategy worked, as three minutes into the second half Nelson found the back of the net on a Mauriana Gonzalez cross to put the Mountaineers on the board.
Great Falls responded in the 64th minute on a goal by Danielle De La Vina to tie the game. But 15 seconds later, EOU’s Tori Fedora scored on an assist by Whitehurst to give the EOU the lead back.
It looked like Eastern Oregon was going to hang on to win the game until Ashley Todd put home a Katie Bennett assist with 1:34 remaining in regulation to tie the game at 2-all.
“We knew exactly what they were trying to do,” Simonetti said. “We dove in in the midfield, they played a long ball and (Todd) got a nice shot off. It was a little unlucky on our part and also a little lazy.”
That sent the game to overtime where four minutes in, Whitehurst made her move.
“This is good for our team,” Whitehurst said. “To show that we can fight back. We came back and scored a goal right after they scored, and got the win.”
The Mountaineers will scrimmage at Treasure Valley Community College Saturday before going on an East Coast road trip for three games next week.
EOU will face Point Park University (Pa.), Walsh University (Ohio) and Malone University (Ohio) before returning home Sept. 21 for a scrimmage against North Idaho College at 2 p.m.