Men’s soccer team hopes to end losing streak


Josh Saxton

Redshirt junior midfielder, Gabriel Puga runs upfield during Saturday’s game against Oral Roberts.

Maher Kawash, Staff Reporter

The Eastern men’s soccer team is hoping to end its three-game losing streak and receive some bragging rights as they take on in-state rival Northern Illinois University this Tuesday at Lakeside Field at 3 p.m.

Eastern will go up against the Huskies who hold a 4-2 record this season and are coming off a 2-0 loss against Creighton, who is the number one ranked team in the nation.

“NIU is one of our in-state rivals, and rivalry games are always competitive,” sophomore forward Justin Oliver said. “We are going into the game with the mindset that we are going to win it just like we do for every other game.”

After starting the season at 2-2, the Panthers have been put to the test against some top tier competition resulting them to fall to 2-5 on the season.

“I’ve still seen the growth that we need to be successful in the long run,” Eastern coach Kiki Lara said. “We just need to stay concentrated on the building blocks that are going to lead to success for a number of years.”

The Panthers have gone up against some physical teams and have been competitive in most of their games, but still come out with a 2-5 record.

“We have had our chances plain and simple, but we just need to capitalize on them and turn them into goals,” sophomore goalkeeper Mike Novotny said.

NIU is known for being a competitive and athletic team, but the Panthers feel that they have prepared well enough to come out with a victory.

“We just have to focus on ourselves, and try to execute every role and responsibility a little better than last game,” Lara said.

During this three game losing streak, the Panthers have been searching for improvement, and members of the team still feel confident in what they can do.

“We have been working on our own game, on both sides of the ball,” sophomore Dominic Recca said. “We feel like our game is good enough to win games, it’s just a matter of putting together a full 90 minutes.”

The Panthers are hoping to use this game as a turning point in their season as they continue to build on last season where they only won three games all year.

“Division one games are hard to win, and we have to accept that and focus on our day-to-day habits that are necessary to put together a successful 90 minutes of play,” Lara said.

The Panthers will also look to earn their first home victory of the season today as they look to get back on track to a winning record.


Maher Kawash can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]