Cheney Free Press -

Eastern soccer picked to finish fifth


Last updated 8/15/2019 at 10:19am

After finishing sixth in the regular season last year, the Eastern Washington University soccer team was picked to finish fifth in the Big Sky Preseason Poll on Tuesday.

“Preseason polls are what they are and I respect where we have been selected. It’s coaches guessing and looking at what happened last year. We were ranked first last year and snuck in to the tournament the last weekend. We were ranked low the two years before and won three championships,” said head coach Chad Bodnar. “We have a strong group of players this year committed to doing well and aren’t worried about where we’re selected during the preseason. We’ve had a good first week of camp and I have a lot of confidence in this group. We are looking forward to getting after it for real in a couple of weeks.”

The poll is voted on by the league’s 10 head coaches and coaches cannot vote for their own team. Northern Colorado was predicted to finish first, totaling 76 points and capturing six of the ten first-place votes.

The Eagles totaled 52 points behind Idaho who had 54 points and ahead of Northern Arizona who had 47.

Weber State and Sacramento State also received first-place votes.

The Eagles welcome back 17 returners, six of them starters in 2018, while adding 10 newcomers to a program that has won the Big Sky Tournament two out of the last three seasons.

Eastern returns forward Saige Lyons, who scored four goals during the 2018 season with Brooke Dunbar who scored two. Goalkeeper Kelsee Winston will also be returning. Winston started every game for the Eagles in 2018, earning earned eight shutouts.

The Eagles have their final exhibition match this Saturday, Aug. 17, at 1 p.m. at the EWU Soccer Field.

The regular season opens for Eastern on Aug. 22 on the road at Nevada at 5:30 p.m.


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