The Eastern men’s soccer team was held scoreless by in-state rival Bradley and remained winless on the road in their rescheduled match, losing 3-0 Tuesday night in Peoria.
The Panthers are now on a two-game losing streak.
Eastern fell to 2-8-1 on the season, while Bradley improved to 5-7. This was a non-conference game for the Panthers.
Bradley had a couple chances early from Cody Lofgren, whose shot went off the crossbar in the fifth minute and Christian Okeke in the seventh minute whose shot went wide right off a corner kick from Falk Dennert.
In the 18th minute, Jacob Taylor scored his third goal of the year with a low shot inside the left post. Jason Lesch assisted the goal. Bradley scored again in the 41st minute with a goal from Alex Garcia off of a loose ball in front of the net. Lesch, his second assist of the game, also assisted Garcia’s goal.
This was Garcia’s first goal of the year and Lesch now has three assists.
Eastern had eight shots in the first half and had only one on goal from Tayron Martin. Bradley had 10 shots and two on goal, which turned out to be goals.
In the second half, Lofgren added his sixth goal of the season in the 65th minute from a free kick that curled inside the left post. Eastern had 15 fouls in the game and Bradley totaled 10.
Eastern’s Zach Medawattage and Nick Wegrzynowicz each got yellow cards during the match. Medawattage was in the 40th minute and Wegrzynowicz was in the 74th minute.
Freshman Mike Novotny made the start for Eastern and gave up three goals and made two saves. Junior Shay Niemeyer got his fifth start at goalkeeper for Bradley and made two saves in his shutout victory.
Eastern head coach Mark Hansen said he doesn’t think the players need any more motivation.
“We still have a lot to play for,” he said. “We have a big in-state rivalry coming up and there is a lot on the line with Western Illinois. If anyone needs motivation then they aren’t playing for the right reasons.”
This is Niemeyer’s first shutout of the year and he improved his record to 2-3 after this win. Novotny’s record falls to 1-6 on the year.
Bradley outshot Eastern 15-12 and had five shots on goals compared to Eastern’s two. Will Butler led Eastern in shots with four and one was on net. Okeke and Lofgren each had four shots on goal for Bradley.
Eastern returns home, where they play against Western Illinois at 3 p.m. Saturday at Lakeside Field.
Mark Shanahan can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]