Quality playing gives Eastern a win

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Finding quality in quantity seems to be Eastern’s men’s soccer team’s strategy.

The Panthers’ game plan worked in their 2-0 exhibition win Tuesday against DePaul at Lakeside Field.

“We took lots of shots,” Eastern head coach Adam Howarth said. “That is what we wanted to do, and we really had the opportunity to take it to them.”

Eastern bombarded the Demons with 15 shots in the first half. The Panthers had several shots that just missed including a corner kick play in the closing seconds of the half that just barely cleared the cross bar. Aaron Agiurre led the attack getting off five shots on the day.

It was not until the 63rd minute of the game that Eastern broke onto the scoreboard. Dan Flahive broke the scoreless tie with a blast to the upper right corner of the goal from 40 yards out.

About 12 minutes later, the Panthers added a little insurance with their second goal of the game. Nathan Doherty’s breakaway shot rolled over DePaul’s goalie, but Zach Moore made sure that it found the back of the net by following it in. Moore was given the goal while Doherty was credited with an assist.

Howarth gave all of his players a chance to earn a starting position in the team’s last preseason game playing everyone on his 26-man active roster.

“I got to use the entire bench and got some good looks at our guys,” he said.

DePaul offered the Panthers a look at what Conference USA opponents will be like this year. This will come in handy when they take the field Saturday night for the season opener at Saint Louis University.

“DePaul’s team is going through a lot of changes right now,” Howarth said. “Their head coach resigned this week and this was their first game with their new coach.”

The Panthers have good reasons to feel confident as they head into the regular season. Their offense will put plenty of pressure on opponents and the defense has veteran leadership from Ryan Hunt, Bobby Ewan and Kurtis Schart.

“Saturday is a big game for us,” Howarth said. “We want to get off to a good start this season.”