By Seth Lamar and Jonathan Stark
The women’s soccer team is starting to roll-they picked up their first win of the 2008 season.Sunday afternoon in Chattanooga, Tenn. the Colonels beat Tennessee-Chattanooga 2-0.
Defense dominated for the first 79 minutes of the match until freshman midfielder Jessica Reed fed the ball to junior Lauren Imsande, who scored a goal, putting the ball just out of the reach of the Chattanooga goalkeeper, Allison Preston.
With four minutes remaining in the match, senior Lindsay Ismer threw the ball in to senior Laura Caldon. Caldon took the pass and shot it past Preston for Eastern’s second goal in less than 10 minutes.
Eastern goalie Stephanie Lynch was on the field for all 90 minutes. She had three saves.
Eastern outshot the Lady Mocs 14-8.
The Colonels would hold the 2-0 lead and pick up their first win of the season.
Eastern is now 1-0-1, while Chattanooga dropped to 0-2-1. This is Eastern’s best start in its four-year history.
Following the victory, Imsande was named OVC co-offensive player of the week. This is the first time an Eastern soccer player has received OVC Offensive Player of the Week honors.
The soccer team has seldom traveled far from the southeast. But this year is an entirely different story, as the team ventures into unknown territory.
The Colonels will head across the country for two games of their non-conference schedule against the Fresno State Bulldogs (1-5) and San Francisco Dons (2-1) this weekend.
“The players are excited,” assistant coach Deb Benakis said. “We are going in with the mindset of looking forward to the trip but as well as knowing what we have to do.”
Scheduling moves like this could prove beneficial for the team on multiple fronts as it heads into an unfamiliar region and it could help the Colonels down the road.
“There are lots of benefits on the recruiting side of things, but it will also expose us to different styles of play,” Benakis said.
Benakis says not much is known about their opponents so far, but a more diverse range of style can only help before conference play begins. Fresno State and San Francisco opened the season against each other with the Dons beating the Bulldogs 1-0.
“We don’t know too much about them. We’ll do our research, but more than anything we want to be able to play our style of play and continue to work as hard as we have been,” Benakis said.
The Colonels will first kick things off against Fresno State Friday at 10 p.m. EDT. The matchup with San Francisco is sheduled for Sunday at 4 p.m.