Embry Riddle’s Riley Martinson (10) splits a pair of defenders as the Eagles hosted Ottawa University-Arizona from Surprise in a women’s soccer matchup Tuesday, Oct. 10, 2017, in Prescott. (Les Stukenberg/Courier)
Originally published October 10, 2017 at 11:00p.m.
Updated October 11, 2017 at 04:30p.m.
During their five-match winning streak, the Embry-Riddle women’s soccer team pitched a handful of shutouts, outscoring the opposition a combined 8-0. On Tuesday night at the Eagles’ campus field in Prescott, their impressive run continued.
Freshman forward Riley Martinson notched two goals and an assist, and speedy junior forward Krista Lee registered a goal and three assists, lifting ERAU to a 5-0 shutout victory over Ottawa University-Arizona for its sixth straight win.
“It’s not surprising [that our team is doing so well] because we work so hard, but at the end of the day it means a lot to us because you see the work that you do paying off,” said Lee, who celebrated her birthday Tuesday.
Aiding in the effort were defender Erica Heil and forward Jennifer Ruth, who had a goal apiece. Embry-Riddle outshot Ottawa-AZ a whopping 34-5 for the match. The Eagles led 2-0 at halftime, but scored three goals in the span of 4 minutes early in the second half to bury the visitors.
“Obviously, the wins are coming from goals and everybody working hard,” Martinson said. “But the shutouts are from defensive dedication. And they’re just so put together back there. They’re all on the same page.”
ERAU pulled its starters and put in its bench players with some 33 minutes left in regulation, as 11 reserves received playing time.
The No. 19-ranked Eagles (10-3, 3-0 Cal-Pac) remained unbeaten at home with a perfect 6-0 mark. The Spirit, a first-year program in the National Christian College Athletic Association, dipped to 7-5.
“We kind of struggled [offensively], but we still created a couple of moments, especially early in the game, where we could’ve scored goals,” Ottawa-AZ coach Skelly Kellar said. “We didn’t put them away, and that was kind of the way the game went.”
Embry-Riddle has now allowed a goal in each of its past six matches. Goalkeepers Emily Lambert and Rebekah Carr split time in goal, and thanks to a stingy back-line defense, both keepers tallied only one save.
“Defensively, we’re playing well,” Embry-Riddle head coach Todd Poitras said. “We actually put in a new system tonight to kind of experiment with, and it went really well. I couldn’t be any more pleased with what we’re getting out of our back line, and our goalkeepers are doing a tremendous job for us.
“Between that and the offensive pressure that we’re able to apply to teams, that’s certainly taken a lot of pressure off our back line as well.”
Embry-Riddle has five matches left in the 2017 regular season, including two Cal-Pac matches in Prescott and three league tilts on the road. The Eagles play host to Sierra Nevada College at 1 p.m. Saturday.
Meanwhile, Ottawa will play three of its last five regular-season matches on its home field in Surprise. First up, the squad faces Arizona Christian at 5:30 p.m. Thursday.
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