Hansen debuts with win

Mark Shanahan, Staff Reporter

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Freshman midfielder Dominic Recca squares off against freshman defender Mark Haraus in a game on Saturday at Lakeside Field.  The Panthers beat University of St. Francis 2-0.

Jason Howell
Freshman midfielder Dominic Recca squares off against freshman defender Mark Haraus in a game on Saturday at Lakeside Field. The Panthers beat University of St. Francis 2-0.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Eastern men’s soccer team was victorious Saturday against St. Francis (Ill.) winning 2-0, as Will Butler and Dominic Recca scored to lead the Panthers to their season-opening win.

Mark Hansen picked up his first win as a head coach, as he debuted as Eastern’s head coach.

Both goals were scored in the first half and the Panthers never looked back, with freshman Mike Novotny and red-shirt sophomore Ben Feltes each playing a half at goalie for Eastern.

Butler opened the scoring in the seventh minute and Recca followed with the Panthers’ second goal in the 34th minute.

Butler walked through for his first goal of the season, with what ended up being the game-winning goal.

“Our freshman Recca happened to be in the right spot and he worked to get the ball to me and I just tried my best to get the ball on frame,” Butler said.

Butler, who is a senior, had one goal all of last year.

Despite winning its first season opener since 2011, Eastern ended the game with a few injuries.

Tony Meza and Jack Patrick went down with injuries. Meza’s injury looked to be his right leg and Patrick’s appeared to be the right foot. Hansen did not expand on the extent of the injured players.

Novotny had two saves in his first college game as goalie, but Hansen said Feltes is the starter. Using both goalies was planned ahead of time to help get Novotny real game experience.

Eastern out shot St. Francis 20 to 6.

Hansen said he wants the team to play its style of play for the whole game in the future.

“The biggest thing we need to take away from this game is that we need to dictate our style of play from the beginning,” he said. “I think we came out after we scored a little bit passive and we kind of sat on scoring the first goal as opposed to moving forward and trying to get that second and third.”

Hansen is already focusing on Eastern’s next opponent Lipscomb, which the Panthers host at 2 p.m. Monday at Lakeside Field.

Last year, Eastern dropped a 3-1 decision against Lipscomb, as the Bisons scored their goals in the first 12 minutes of the second half.

Mark Shanahan can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]