Men’s soccer losing streak hits 7 games

Mark Shanahan, Staff Reporter

Eastern’s losing streak extends to seven as Eastern is routed by in-state foe Western Illinois 6-0 on Saturday afternoon.

The loss puts Eastern at 2-9 on the season with a 0-3 record in conference play while Western improves to 5-8-1 overall and 2-2 in the OVC.

Eastern only had two shots in the game and they came from brother’s Tyler Oliver and Justin Oliver who each had one.

Eastern coach Kiki Lara said that Western did a good job getting behind the ball and was quick to counterattack.

The defense stayed strong in the first half for Eastern only giving up two goals. In all 11 of the games they have played this season, Eastern has given up two or less goals in the first half. Only 11 of the 38 goals scored against the Panthers this year have come against them in the first half.

Sophomore goalkeeper Mike Novotny played another full game in net for Eastern advancing him up in the ranking of the most minutes played all-time by a goalkeeper at Eastern Illinois.

Novotny faced nine shots on goal from Western and made three saves while giving up six goals.

Junior Drew Whalen began the scoring for Western in the 26th minute when he received the ball in the middle of the penalty box and put it past Novotny to make the score 1-0.

Whalen added another in the 33 rd minute by heading in a cross giving them a 2-0 lead going into halftime.

Whalen then opened up the scoring in the second half and earned his hat trick in the 51st minute as his shot was deflected off an Eastern defender and ended up in the back of the net to make it 3-0.

Whalen now has nine goals on the season.

Western was not done there, as they would go on to add three more goals within ten minutes of each other.

Senior Sammuel Worsley had a two-touch finish in the box in the 77th minute for his first of the year, assisted by Whalen. Junior Jacob Bevan scored the next one as he netted his fourth goal of the season in the 84th minute.

Lara said the fatigue and newness of the team played a factor in the allowing of four goals in the second half of the game.

Junior Fernando Pacheco would cap off the scoring for Western just two minutes after Bevan for his second goal of the season.

He beat Novotny to the top left of the frame. Western had nine total assists on the day, which ranks them for the second most in school history.

For Eastern, they will return home this Wednesday at 3 p.m. as they will host non-conference opponent Northern Kentucky.


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