Men’s soccer begins 3 game trip against Missouri State

Mark Shanahan, Staff Reporter

The Eastern men’s soccer team is set to begin its three game road trip against former Missouri Valley Conference opponent Missouri State tomorrow.

The Missouri State Bears hold a 17-5 all-time record against Eastern who used to play in the Missouri Valley Conference before moving to the Summit League in 2011. The last time the two teams met was in 2012 at the Marriott Classic, which resulted in a 2-0 win for the Bears.

The Bears come into tomorrow’s match on a two game losing streak after to losing to conference opponent Drake 2-1 and the number one team in the country Creighton 4-0. Missouri State’s record is currently 3-4-2, but they have not lost at home yet with a 2-0-1 record.

Sophomore defensive player Zach Medawattage talked about what the team needs to do to get back to winning this season.

“I would say we need to defend better as a team and then finish our chances on the offensive side of the ball,” Medawattage said.

Eastern heads into the match with a 2-6 record and have lost four straight. Despite the record, Eastern has shown fight in the last two games have lost both in the second half of overtime. Six of the eight goals scored by them this season have come in the second half or later.

The Panthers have been a little frustrated after having a pair of close losses.

“It just shows how close we are to winning these games,” Metawattage said. “Also, overtime losses are tough to swallow, so that’s not a feeling we want to have again.”

The Oliver twins, Justin and Tyler, are the leading scorers on the team right now for the Panthers. Tyler has a team high three goal with seven points and one assist. His brother Justin has two goals with an assist and five points. Each has a game-winning goal.

For the Bears, freshman Jake Buckle and junior midfielder Jack Griffin each have a team high two goals and four points on the year. Both have played in all nine games this year.

Sophomore Liam Priestley has started all nine games in goal for the Bears this season. He’s given up 10 goals this season while making 20 saves, he has a goals against average of 1.04. He has four shutouts this season.

Eastern sophomore goalkeeper Mike Novotny started the first seven games of the season giving up 22 goals while making 39 saves. He has a 2-5 record with a 3.01 goals against average. Redshirt junior Ben Feltes started last game and made eight saves, giving up three goals in the overtime loss.


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