Women’s soccer team hosting 2 weekend matches

Phil Delma, Women's Soccer Reporter

 

In the early parts of the season, the Panthers have been plagued by goals in the last 10 minutes of the game — all goals that have contributed to their dismal start.

Since losing at home to Indiana State and IUPUI to open its first two home games, the women’s soccer team went on a two-game winning streak at home against their most recent opponents, scoring four goals altogether against Northern Iowa and Marian University, in two shutout victories.

The Panthers’ winning start comes at a perfect time, as they play two more home fixtures, including the Ohio Valley Conference opener against Southeast Missouri Friday.

In recent history, Southeast Missouri won five of the last six fixtures against Eastern, with all victories resulting in shutouts. The first of those six matches was in 2010.

However, the Redhawks won only two of seven matches against the Panthers when playing in Charleston.

Southeast Missouri (6-2), in a four-day span, recorded its first loss (3-2) to Kentucky last Wednesday before being shut out the following Sunday in a 1-0 loss to Missouri State. Both losses from Southeast Missouri came from road trips.

Eastern is the Redhawks’ third away trip before their final game in a four-game away run comes this Sunday against Southern Illinois Edwardsville.

Both teams have reason to go into OVC with a lot of optimism for their respective seasons.

The Panthers, while they enjoy a two-game winning streak, look to shake off the rust of their earlier play of non-conference games, and the likelihood of a third-straight victory to open up conference play would be an added incentive to the beginning of what could be a resurgent season.

Aside from a tie and three shutout victories on the road earlier in Southeast Missouri’s season, the Redhawks come off a run in which they lost their last two games on the road.

However, Southeast Missouri had a stellar run in non-conference play, going six games un-beaten prior to their recent pair of losses, and they look to get back to winning ways with a result away from home.

Eastern goes into the game with seven goals, with all seven being scored by different players. The Panthers conceded four goals at home so far this season.

Both teams are capable of breaking out on offense with a late goal, as well as putting a lot of emphasis on the defensive end of the pitch, which pays each dividends in holding the lead in tight periods of the game.

Southeast Missouri boast a stout defense, which conceded six goals in nine games so far this campaign.

The Panthers kick off against Southeast Missouri at 3 p.m. Friday at Lakeside Field before playing another OVC matchup 1 p.m. Sunday at home against Tennessee-Martin (3-5).

Phil Delma can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]