The Eastern men’s soccer team has not quite had the season they hoped for as they are facing their longest losing streak in 12 years.
Eastern stands at 2-10 on the season, and matched the program’s longest losing streak since 2003 at eight games with their 2-1 overtime loss to Northern Kentucky on Wednesday.
“We just need to forget about the past results, and go out and get three points to keep ourselves alive for a chance at the conference tournament,” sophomore midfielder/forward Tyler Oliver said.
The Panthers will finish off a two-game home stand against Indiana-Purdue University at Indianapolis on Sunday at 12 p.m. with hopes of ending this eight-game losing streak.
Eastern will go up against an IUPUI squad who is 1-7-5 on the season and 1-0-2 in the Summit League.
IUPUI sits at fourth in the conference while Eastern is in last place with a Summit League record of 0-3.
“We are confident that our tactical changes will allow us to be successful against IUPUI,” senior midfielder Nick Smith said. “We feel that we can stretch IUPUI, and attack the space in order to create scoring chances.”
Although they are 1-7-5 on the season, IUPUI represents a tough matchup for Eastern as they do not allow many goals to their opponents.
The Jaguars have a high number of games ending in a tie with five on the season, as well as five of their seven losses being by one goal.
Since joining the Summit League in 2011, the Panthers have not been able to come away with a victory over IUPUI.
Coming off a season where he scored zero goals as a freshman, Oliver has proven to be heavily involved in the offense for the Panthers this season with a team leading four goals.
“I’ve been lucky to be in the spots I have been to get these goals, because the real work comes from the guys playing me the final ball,” Oliver said. “I’m feeling really confident, and I’m excited to get back out there after missing the last match.”
Oliver is coming off a one game suspension due to his five yellow cards on the season.
With a .167 win percentage and five games remaining on the year, some of the seniors on the team are cherishing each game.
“This last stretch of games means everything to me, because my competitive playing career is over once our season ends,” Smith said. “Our team is motivated to keep battling.”
The Panthers are facing their biggest test yet against IUPUI as a win Sunday would shine some light on what has been a rebuilding season thus far.
Maher Kawash can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]