Men’s soccer falls late to Denver

Mark Shanahan, Staff Reporter

Strong goaltending wasn’t enough as Eastern falls late to a ranked Denver team on the road 1-0.

Denver remains unbeaten as they improve to 12-0-3 on the season and 4-0-1 in Summit League play. Eastern falls to 3-12 overall and 1-4 in conference play with two games remaining on their schedule.

Eastern was heavily outshot in the game as Denver got off 31 shots opposed to the one from Eastern. 13 of the shots were on goal and sophomore goalkeeper Mike Novotny had 12 saves.

The 12 saves was a new personal record for Novotny beating his previous total of nine. This is also the second highest save total in the Summit League so far in the season behind the 13 save effort by IUPUI’s Eduardo Cortes against Omaha.

This was a strong defensive match as Eastern took Denver down to the wire for the second year in a row. Eastern was looking to extend its Summit League winning streak after defeating IUPUI last week, but couldn’t stop the unbeaten Denver squad.

Denver came out firing early as they took 11 shots in the first half forcing Novotny to make seven saves to keep the game scoreless going into halftime. It was the same story for the second half as they got off 20 more shots.

Eastern fought off the attack until the 81st minute when Denver was finally able to put one in the back of the net. Sophomore Cole Stevenson fired a shot that was deflected off of an Eastern defender and went over Novotny’s head and into the goal to give Denver a 1-0 lead. Redshirt junior Reagen Dunk assisted Stevenson’s fourth goal of the season while earning his league leading eighth assist.

Freshman Andre Shinyashiki led Denver with seven shots in the game. Teammates Sam Hamilton and Chandler Crosswait each had four shots, but were not able to finish any of those chances.

This is the eighth time that Eastern has been shut out this season and they have lost back-to-back games with a score of 1-0. The lone shot for Eastern was by junior Davis Wegmann in the final minutes in attempt to tie to game up.

Eastern is back on the road Tuesday against non-conference opponent Southern Illinois Edwardsville and then they return home for the final game of the season against Summit League opponent Omaha.

With this loss, Eastern is eliminated from post-season play and are at the bottom of the Summit League standings.

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