Redshirt freshman Kristin Nason scored two goals against the University of Illinois-Chicago on Sunday afternoon in Ypsilanti where the Eagles were victorious in the team’s home opener for the 2015-2016 season.
The Sunday afternoon bout was the first to be played at Scicluna Field this season, where Nason has been red-hot dating back to preseason exhibition matches in July. Nason has scored five goals in two games in matches played in Ypsilanti this year.
Nason gave the Eagles (2-3-1) the lead just three minutes into the match after a clever ball by junior Rachel Washburn was played up and over the UIC (2-3-1) defenders and into the box. Nason and UIC sophomore goalkeeper Kelly Fritz collided hard, but not before Nason could get her head on the ball to put it in the back of the net.
Fifteen minutes later, Eastern Michigan went up 2-0 when senior Megan Trapp crossed the ball into the box, the chance looked like it was going to be cleared easily but the UIC defender missed the ball, giving Nason her second headed goal on the afternoon.
UIC wasn’t without it’s opportunities as well though, with a goal by forward Emi Yamamoto late into the first half bringing her team within one before halftime.
Senior midfielder Chelsie Oddan scored her first of the season in the 41st minute of the match, securing the Eagles second win of the year. No more goals were scored in the match despite quality chances being had at both ends of the field.
Freshman goalkeeper Kaylin Williams made her third consecutive start of the season, taking the mantle from veteran keepr Megan McCabe. With eight saves against Illinois State University in a 2-2 draw on Friday, as well as three more against UIC on Sunday, Williams has yet to lose a match in her collegiate career.
Williams has conceded a mere 3 goals, while McCabe has conceded a staggering 18 despite playing strong against quality opposition such as the University of Michigan, DePaul University and Butler University.
Williams and McCabe have both made 15 saves individually in net, while Williams holds the team’s only shut-out, which came in her collegiate debut.
Nason, who was described by head coach Scott Hall as an “impact player for this season,” has pulled ahead in the Eagles points’ race with 8, and also leads the team in goals with four. Trapp, Oddan and junior Madison Hirsch are the closest behind her with one a piece.
The Eastern Michigan University women’s soccer team goes back on the road this week when it travels to the University of Detroit Mercy on Thursday afternoon to take on the Titans. Up to this point on the season the Eagles have played five away matches, compared to one home match. Eastern Michigan last met with Detroit last season in an exhibition match that led to a 0-0 draw.
Follow Robert Sherman on Twitter: @r__sherman