Panthers open conference play with 4-0 loss

Dominic Renzetti, Assistant Sports Editor

Southeast Missouri’s Natasha Minor scored twice in the first half, helping lead the Redhawks to a 4-0 victory over Eastern in the Ohio Valley Conference opener for both women’s soccer teams Friday at Lakeside Field.

Minor scored the first two goals of the match for Southeast Missouri in the 11th and 25th minute to give the Redhawks an early lead. Christina Rhode added a third in the 32nd minute and Taylor Byrd put in the only goal of the second half to secure the 4-0 win.

“Of course, not the way we want to start,” Eastern head coach Jason Cherry said. “I think with us, we gotta refocus and pay attention to details. We were prepared for the game, but we didn’t execute our plan and stick to it and those little small details killed us today and that’s why we lost the game.”

Senior forward Meagan Radloff led Eastern with three shots and two on goal. Radloff said the Panthers are putting the loss behind them.

“We’re just keeping our head high,” she said. “Last year we lost to them with the same score and we still did really well in conference, so we’re kind of taking it as we’re just gonna put this one behind us.”

Despite the loss, Cherry is not going back on his word that the Panthers will beat Southern Illinois-Edwardsville on Sunday.

“I still stand by my word, we will beat [SIUE] Sunday and I told my team that,” he said. “They’re going to go do it. I know they will. I believe in them.”

Junior Emily Hinton took the loss in goal for the Panthers, making six saves. Kindra Lierz made eight saves for the Redhawks.

Red-shirt junior Chris Reed sat out for the Panthers, serving a suspension for a red card against Chicago State. She will be back on Sunday, Cherry said.

The Panthers take on Southern Illinois-Edwardsville at 1 p.m. Sunday on the road.