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The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

Women’s Soccer Notebook: Melinauskas takes leadership role

Eastern forward Pam Melinauskas is one of only three seniors on the Panthers’ roster this season.

She’s also one of the most vocal players when she’s on the field.

However, Melinauskas said her vocal leadership has nothing to do with her seniority on the team.

It just comes naturally.

“Honestly it’s something I’ve been doing since freshman year,” said Melinauskas, who led the team with three shots, including one on goal in the team’s 1-0 loss to Wright State on Friday.

“I just go out there and try to get the team energized and motivate them,” Melinauskas said.

Even with Melinauskas’ vocal leadership, she has the ability to let her play speak for itself, and she’s played a much more prominent role on the team this year.

Melinauskas has started all six of the Panthers’ matches so far this season as opposed to making only one start last year as a junior.

Additionally, the Panthers have a 4-0 record in matches in which Melinauskas scores.

They were 2-0 in both 2006 and 2007.

Wright State head coach Pat Ferguson was quick to point out Melinauskas’ presence on the field.

“(Melinauskas) is a very good, dangerous player,” Ferguson said.

Panthers’ head coach Tim Nowak said the Panthers have enjoyed having Melinauskas’ leadership on the field.

“Pam’s one of our leaders on the field,” Nowak said. “We know we can rely on her to provide vocal leadership out there.”

Melinauskas is currently tied for second on the team with 11 shots on the season, including three on goal.

Panthers cheer on Panthers

The attendance for Friday’s game at Lakeside Field against Wright State was recorded to be 142 people.

Among the crowd was a rowdy group of fans from other Eastern athletic programs. About a dozen members of the Eastern baseball team gathered near one end of the field and spent the first half giving their vocal support for the team.

Additionally, about a dozen players from Eastern’s women’s basketball team filled up the first row of the stands. The fans cheered on the Panthers the entire match – yelling encouragement to the players and holding up signs.

Nowak said he was pleased to see the support the home crowd gave his players.

“They were great,” Nowak said. “I went up to them after the game and asked them to come again. Our fans had a winning energy. Unfortunately we weren’t able to duplicate that on the field.”

The Panthers’ next home game is Sept. 28 against Murray State.

Injury updates

Sophomore goalkeeper Kaylin Lorbert started both matches in goal for the Panthers during the weekend.

The sophomore started last weekend in place of injured junior goalkeeper Jenny Williams.

Nowak said although Williams was available this weekend if needed, she was still not at 100 percent and Lorbert had earned a chance to start.

Freshman midfielder Elise Farrelly went down with an undisclosed injury in the second half of Sunday’s loss and did not return.

Nowak said he was unable to comment on the extent of Farrelly’s injury until she is reevaluated.

Around the league

Ohio Valley Conference preseason favorite Southeast Missouri continued to struggle on the offensive side of the ball as they dropped a 2-0 contest to Army.

The Redhawks have yet to score a goal on the season as they fell to 0-2.

Murray State, picked to finished second in the OVC, also lost as they dropped a 1-0 overtime match to SIU Edwardsville when the Cougars scored a goal 24 seconds into overtime.

Other action saw Jacksonville State fall to 0-3-1 after a 1-1 tie against Mercer. Eastern Kentucky improved to 2-1-1 with a 1-0 victory over San Francisco.

Tennessee-Martin battled to a 0-0 tie with UNC Ashville to move to 3-1-1 on the season. Tennessee Tech fell to 1-4-0 with a 4-1 loss to Vanderbilt.

Collin Whitchurch can be reached at 581-7944 or at [email protected]

Women’s Soccer Notebook: Melinauskas takes leadership role

Womens Soccer Notebook: Melinauskas takes leadership role

Senior defender Ashley Slota and senior forward Pam Melinauskas try to head a corner kick in during the second half against Eastern Michigan at Lakeside Field Sunday afternoon. The Panthers were shutout 4-0.(Amir Prellberg

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