Women’s soccer struggling to score

Mark Shanahan, Assistant Sports Editor

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The women’s soccer team is three games into the season and has yet to score a goal.

Director of Soccer Kiki Lara is in his second year at Eastern, but this is his first year coaching the women’s team. Lara called the offense a work in progress so far, not stating that there was just one specific problem that is keeping the team from scoring.

The Panthers have been heavily outshot in their first three games and have recorded only five total shots on goal in the young season, each coming from a different player.

Lara stressed several times, when talking about the team’s struggles, that the team needs to get to a better fitness level and that is something that has been a common theme with each practice. With the team under a new head coach, it is about the team getting comfortable playing Lara’s style of play and that is something that takes time.

The fitness level shows in the stat sheet with 41 shots on goal against them compared to their five shots on goal. Opposing teams have been able to quickly respond to any of the offense that the Panthers have generated and also have been keeping them in constant defensive mode.

The women have been on the road for the first three games, the road trip comes to an end Sunday but not before one final road game at Chicago State on Friday. The team returns home Sunday for a noon match against Indiana State.

Lara plans to stick to his game plan, which only changes up a bit for each opponent. Since the season is already well underway, it is too late to change the style of play now. He wants the team to stay in the developmental mindset and continue to get their fitness level up.

Lara has stayed true to freshman goalkeeper Sara Teteak who has started all three games and has made 34 saves. Teteak has a save percentage of .829 and has a goals against average of 2.33.

When both teams play on the same day at different locations, assistant coach Raymundo Gonzalez and graduate assistant Ashley Ross help out Lara for the women. Gonzalez has been helping out with the women since 2014, while this is Ross’ first year.

Returning as the men’s assistant coach is Jake Plant, a former player, going into his third year as assistant coach. Lara and his staff will continue to run his style of play and get the fitness level of the team up moving forward.

 

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