Panthers can’t hold on to lead; lose to Louisiana Tech


Jason Howell

Freshman forward Chloe Gottschalk sprints after the ball in a game on Sunday at Lakeside Field. The Panthers lost to Louisiana Tech 3-1. The Panthers are now 0-4 overall. Gottschalk had one shot on goal.

Dominic Renzetti, Assistant Sports Editor

The Eastern women’s soccer team thought it might be on the verge of its first win of the season, but it found out on Sunday at Lakeside Field against Louisiana Tech that there are two halves to each game.

In the 42nd minute, junior Meagan Radloff fired a shot through the middle of the field. Louisiana Tech goalkeeper Kylee Seto bobbled the save. Remembering what had been stressed all week in practice, red-shirt junior Chris Reed charged toward the net.

Reed found the ball off the rebound and put it in the back of the net, giving Eastern its first lead and first goal of the season.

“If you’re ever at our practices, we pound into our brains: follow your shot, follow the keeper, crash the goal,” Reed said.

Reed said she saw the backspin on the ball and knew it would bounce backwards. She shielded off the goalie, put a toe to it and scored. The Panthers headed to the break with a 1-0 lead.

“It’s a really good feeling to not be down at halftime,” Reed said. “It was a really good feeling to finally be up for once.”

Reed had just one goal all of last season, her first with Eastern after transferring from Cincinnati.

“I think we dominated them in the first half,” Reed said. “We just gotta learn how to keep going for 90 minutes.”

The second half saw three unanswered goals from Louisiana Tech, enough to secure the 3-1 win. The first came in the 61st minute from Brittany Beddow on an unassisted shot from 25 yards out and over the head of Eastern’s Emily Hinton.

The go-ahead came soon after, with Louisiana Tech’s Kathryn Sloan getting a pass from Annabel Prior in the 65th minute. Louisiana Tech added one more in the 88th minute on an unassisted shot from Jenny Bitzer.

“I think in the second half, we got a little tired and we got a little discombobulated,” Reed said. “I think we just have to figure out how to keep our high from the first half going throughout the whole game.”

After finishing at an even six shots each in the first half, Louisiana Tech pounded the net in the second, outshooting the Panthers 18-4. Hinton, making her fourth straight start in net, made 11 saves.

For head coach Jason Cherry, he says this loss is one that will stay with him.

“This was a tough one because I really thought we could have won this game,” he said. “To give it away like that, it’s gonna sit in my belly tonight.”

The loss puts Eastern at 0-4 to start the season, but Cherry said he thinks the team is better than what it appears to be on paper.

“I don’t think the scores really reflect how we played,” he said. “I think we’re a better team at this point than we were last year and we’re playing better together. Now we’re starting to put little pieces of the picture together to paint that huge picture. I’m happy with it.”

Eastern hosts Missouri-Kansas City at 3 p.m. on Friday.

Dominic Renzetti can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].