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

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

The Daily Eastern News

Panthers focus on aggressive approach

The Eastern men’s soccer team returns to Lakeside Field to take on Southern Illinois-Edwardsville in a Missouri Valley Conference game.

The game is scheduled for Saturday at 2 p.m.

The Panthers are coming off their first win in the last five games, beating Central Arkansas 1-0 Wednesday. The win makes Eastern 4-7 overall and 1-2 in the MVC.

SIU-E comes into the game with a record of 6-5-1 overall and 1-1 in the MVC.

The Cougars have performed much better offensively than the Panthers in terms of goals scored. SIU-E has scored 14 goals while Eastern has scored just five; however, the Panthers have played better defensively.

Eastern has given up nine goals in 11 games, while SIU-E has given up 11 in 12 games.

Eastern head coach Adam Howarth said that SIU-E is a good team, but the Panthers should be able to have success against them.

“They are very much a possession oriented team, I think they are going to be somewhat physical,” Howarth said. “I think it’s going to be a very good game.”

The Panthers are 8-13-4 all-time against SIU-E. Last season, the Cougars beat Eastern 2-1 at Evansville.

Eastern has played more aggressive offensively in recent games to try and spark their offense. They have been getting more shots than they did earlier in the season. The Panthers have out-shot their last two opponents.

Junior forward Graham Lynch said the team has been focusing on being aggressive offensively.

“We will focus more on being aggressive than defense,” Lynch said.

Howarth said the Panthers will continue their aggressive approach.

“Being at home we are going to be the aggressor and we will take it to them,” Howarth said.

Senior forward Alex Harrison has been held without a point for the entire season. However, he has become more aggressive just like the rest of the offense. He shot five times against UCA.

Howarth said this could possibly be the game that Harrison gets back on track.

“He has been giving himself a lot more opportunities and I think he’ll take a few more shots,” Howarth said. “Hopefully Saturday will be a game where he can get some goals.”

With a short week in terms of practice for the Panthers, they will look to carry their success to the next game.

Howarth said despite the short week the team should be well prepared for the game.

“We are just trying to keep things going, make sure that everyone is healthy and just make sure that we continue to be aggressive,” Howarth said.

The quick turnaround from midweek game to weekend game should benefit the Panthers more than the Cougars. The Cougars lost Wednesday to Evansville 0-1, while Eastern beat UCA.

Howarth said that both teams are going to be ready for the game.

“Both of us are in the same boat, we will see who shows up,” Howarth said. “It’s all about drawing the lines and see who will come out on top.”

Rob Mortell can be reached

at 581-7944 or [email protected]

Panthers focus on aggressive approach

Panthers focus on aggressive approach

Sophomore midfielder Kendal Spurgin takes the ball upfield during the game against IUPUI Sept. 22 at Lakeside Field. The Panthers play SIU Edwardsville Saturday at Lakeside Field. (Audrey Sawyer


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