Eastern focused on building momentum over weekend

Senior+defender+Briana+Hickman+runs+after+the+ball+alongside+Bowling+Green+States+Mikaela+Couch+during+the+Panthers+3-2+loss+on+Sept.+11+at+Lakeside+Field.

Jason Howell

Senior defender Briana Hickman runs after the ball alongside Bowling Green State’s Mikaela Couch during the Panthers’ 3-2 loss on Sept. 11 at Lakeside Field.

Elias Albert, Staff Reporter

The Eastern women’s soccer team will look to end its two-game losing streak this weekend as the team visits Missouri-Kansas City on Friday and hosts Chicago State on Sunday.

This comes after a 3-2 loss to Bowling Green State University in their last game.

Eastern coach Jason Cherry once again saw his team show some positive signs, but he did feel there always needs to be improvement.

“We’re working on a few things defensively that were evident in the game,” Cherry said. “We could also use some work in our attack as far as building up the play a bit more.”

Cherry wants his team to play its own game.

“I’d love to pick up two wins this weekend, which I think we can,” Cherry said. “But we have to clean up a few things and prepare ourselves for conference more than anything.”

Cherry thinks his team has been just a couple plays away and is capable of making those crucial plays in their games ahead.

If Eastern hopes to come away with wins this weekend, and in the future, the team will more than likely need players like forward Molly Hawkins to come up big.

Hawkins has led the pack for Eastern with her five goals and two assists.

“I’ve been really impressed with Molly,” Cherry said. “She’s really seemed to benefit from the position change and it’s also been a huge lift for our team.”

Even with Hawkins’ production, Cherry expects more of his players to step up and have an impact.

Cherry not only expects it but also thinks other players will have more opportunities with so much attention being paid to Hawkins.

“Molly is going to be on everyone’s scouting reports,” Cherry said. “Hopefully this will open the door for other players to break through and score when she’s being covered.”

He also looks for his team to use more of an “outside-to-in” strategy by utilizing his forwards on the outside.

“I don’t see any reason why the opportunities wouldn’t be there,” Cherry said. “They’re good players and more than capable of making things happen.”

In particular, Cherry looks for more scoring chances off of set pieces, like free kicks and corners.

With the conference schedule beginning Sept. 25 at Tennessee-Martin, Cherry wants his team to have momentum for the long haul.

If they hope to build momentum, they will need to defeat a Missouri-Kansas City team that is currently 5-2 and has outscored their opponents, 13-6.

If they cannot pull together a win against Missouri-Kansas City, the Panthers have another chance against Chicago State, who currently stand at 0-7 and have been outscored, 42-0.

 

Elias Albert can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected]