After having the lead for most of the game, the Eastern men’s soccer team was unable to come away with the win in overtime against Northern Kentucky.
Eastern falls to 2-10 after the 2-1 loss and the losing streak has extended to eight games now dating back to their victory against Robert Morris on September 6th. For Northern Kentucky, they improve to 7-4-3 and have now taken seven matches to overtime this season.
Head coach Kiki Lara thought his team played very well defensively for a 95-minute game aside from a few errors.
“I think they stayed compact,” he said. “They moved quicker from left to right and I thought they made things difficult for the other guys to get through us and forced them to put the ball in the air.”
The freshmen were the story of today’s game for Eastern as six newcomers got the starting nod. Tyler Massa opened the scoring with his first career goal in the 13th minute. His goal was assisted by fellow freshman Trevor Kerns who crossed it on the ground from the left side to the center of the box setting up Massa for the finish.
Northern Kentucky was able to knot things up in the 74th minute of the game with a goal from senior Yaw Addai who fired an unassisted shot from the top of the box that beat the goalkeeper to the right.
After 15 minutes of scoreless play, they went into overtime where Northern Kentucky wasted no time by sealing the victory in a matter of 30 seconds. Sophomore Jacob Cunningham played the ball down the left side past the defender and shot it past the keeper for the win. Sophomore Kobie Qualah was credited with the assist.
Lara said he is focusing on getting the team well conditioned to stay competitive in long matches.
“I’ve got to take away from this game that at the beginning of the season to now we’re still working to getting 90 minutes fit and I want the guys to know that really that’s going to be our main focus,” he said. “Making sure the team comes in prepared and ready and fit so we’re able to get into these overtime games and actually be the dominant physically.”
Red-shirt junior Ben Feltes was in net for Eastern and had three saves in the game and gave up both goals.
Northern Kentucky got off 13 shots total in the game but only three of them were on target. This was just the second game Feltes has appeared in this year.
Lara has not decided who the goalkeeper will be going forward as he said that Feltes and sophomore Mike Novotny have both been playing well.
Senior A.J. Fleak was in net for Northern Kentucky and made just one save while giving up the one goal. Eastern was only able to muster two shots the whole game, one in each half.
With a 0-4 record at home now, Eastern will only get two more chances to get a win on home turf. The next home game is this Saturday against Summit League opponent Indiana-Purdue University Indianapolis.
The final home game is against another conference opponent, Omaha for the final game of the season in November.
Mark Shanahan can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]