Panthers host final home game


Jason Howell

Jason Howell | The Daily Eastern News Senior Will Butler moves the ball around Western's Armel Kouassi during a match on Oct. 18 at the Eastern practice field. The Panthers lost to the Leathernecks 1-0.

Mark Shanahan, Staff Reporter

The Eastern men’s soccer team is home for the last time, as the Panthers play against Southern Illinois-Edwardsville at 2 p.m. Tuesday at Lakeside Field.

The Cougars are 4-7-4 this year and are coming off two straight games where they tied. They are from the Missouri Valley Conference and are 4-0-1 in conference play. Southern has struggled on the road this year, with a 2-5-1 record.

Eastern will be facing former teammate Garet Christianson, who transferred to Southern after last season. He had six goals last year for Eastern, which had him tied for second most in the Summit League. He finished the season with 15 points and earned himself onto the All-Summit League First-Team in 2013. The red-shirt junior has three goals and two assists this year for the Cougars.

Eastern trails the all time series against Southern 8-15-4 and they have not faced each other since 2011. Eastern lost that meeting 3-1.

Christian Volesky is Southern’s leading scorer with eight goals. The junior forward has a career-high 19 points this season and three assists. Matt Polster and Christianson are the next leading scorers on the team with eight points each.

Kent Kobernus has started all 15 games at goalkeeper this year for the Cougars. Kobernus has a 4-7-4 record and all four of his wins have been shutouts. He has a goals against average of 1.17 and a save percentage of .678. The senior only saw action in one game last year.

Brain Jones and David Korn are the co-head coaches for Southern. This is both their first year as co-head coach. Jones has been with the staff for seven years making him the longest tenured member on the team. Jones spent time at goalkeeper’s coach previously and was on the coaching staff that won the 2012 Missouri Valley coaching staff of the year.

Korn is with Southern for his first year after being on the coaching staff at Wright State for the past three seasons. He qualified for the conference tournament twice during his time with Wright State. He also served as the assistant coach for the University of Denver and at Lafayette.

Southern is currently at the top of the Missouri Valley conference, with 13 points. The Cogars hold a narrow lead over Evansville, which has 12 points and Missouri State, which has 11. The MVC has Central Arkansas and Bradley in it, two opponents that Eastern has played this year and lost to. Southern has beaten both Bradley and Central Arkansas.

Eastern and Southern each has two games remaining in their schedule. Southern has to finish up its season with two games on the road against Eastern and conference opponent Loyola. Eastern is home against the Cougars and on the road against conference opponent Oral Roberts.

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