Men’s soccer team heading to Omaha

Mark Shanahan, Assistant Sports Editor

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Freshman defender Marcus Menniti moves the ball Saturday during the Panthers’ game against No. 8 Denver. The Panthers lost, 1-0. The men’s soccer team will head to Omaha Saturday for a Summit League matchup.

Lauren McQueen
Freshman defender Marcus Menniti moves the ball Saturday during the Panthers’ game against No. 8 Denver. The Panthers lost, 1-0. The men’s soccer team will head to Omaha Saturday for a Summit League matchup.

The Eastern men’s soccer team is on the road this Saturday to face the Omaha Mavericks for a Summit League matchup.

The Panthers dropped the first game of the four-game road trip against Missouri State on Wednesday and now find themselves on a six-game losing streak.

Eastern has been held scoreless the last three games. That now makes it five games where the Panthers have not got the ball in the back of the net this year.

With a record of 2-8-1 and 0-2 in conference play, the time is now for the Panthers to start winning games if they want to have a chance at the conference tournament. Playing on the road has been trouble for Eastern as the
Panthers have yet to register a win away from Lakeside Field this year with a record of 0-4-1.

The Mavericks come in the match with a record of 4-4-3 and 1-0 in the Summit League. All four of their wins this season have come at their home field.

The match against Eastern is the last of a four-game home stand for Omaha and they have gone 3-1 in that stretch.

Omaha is coached by Jason Mims, who is now in his sixth year as the head of the program. Last year, he led Omaha to the conference tournament for the first time and also had the team ranked in the top 25 for the first time ever.

This is the fifth ever meeting between the two teams, and Eastern has yet to beat them.

Senior Fazlo Alihodzic is the point leader for this Mavericks’ team with five goals and four assists, giving him a total of 14 points. Alihodzic has 21 shots on the season with 12 of those on net.

He is in the Summit League top five in points, goals and assists and was awarded Summit League Offensive Player of the Week for last week’s performance.

Redshirt junior goalkeeper Joseph Ghitis is in the Summit League top five for saves (34), save percentage (.708), goals-against (14) and goals-against average (1.45). Ghitis has also earned Summit League Player of the Week this season on Sept. 6.

Eastern goalkeeper Mike Novotny is ranked third in the Summit League in goals against with 11 and third in goals-against average at 1.25. He has 22 saves this season. Nine different players have scored for the Panthers this season, and the leading assist leader is freshman Yann Nsoga with two.

Saturday’s match is set to begin at 2 p.m.

Looking ahead, Eastern stays on the road next week as they travel to Northern Illinois on Tuesday.

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