After good start, women’s soccer hosts home opener


File Photo

Sophomore defender Lindsey Carlson attempts to get past two Tennessee-Martin players during the Panthers’ 1-0 overtime win September 2016 at Lakeside Field.

Dillan Schorfheide, Women's Soccer Reporter

After starting its season without a loss in two games, the Eastern women’s soccer team hosts two home games this weekend.

The home games are coming at a good time for the Panthers, after winning one game and tying in the other on the road.

The team’s play so far, Director of Soccer Kiki Lara said, is showing that the players have been working hard and have started to understand the system the team wants to play with, something the players struggled with last season.

Lara mentioned that it is vital for the team to start the season the way it has, adding it helps give the team confidence going forward.

Friday’s matchup, Eastern’s home opener, presents the Panthers with the Green Bay Phoenix.

Green Bay, opposite from the Panthers, is starting the season winless.

The Phoenix have suffered two shutout losses to start their season, 1-0 against St. Cloud State and 3-0 against Akron, and they are facing a possible third shutout if they cannot find any offense against Eastern, who has already recorded one shutout in its 2-0 win over IUPUI.

Eastern has the advantage over Green Bay both in defensive and offensive categories.

In two games, Eastern has given up one goal, and the Phoenix have given up four in the same amount of matches.

Offensively, the Panthers have put more shots on goal (12) in their two matches than the Phoenix have (11). Eastern also beats out Green Bay in total shots, 24-22.

The match between the two teams is set for 3 p.m. Friday at Lakeside Field on Eastern’s campus.

Sunday’s noon matchup for the Panthers is the Panthers of Milwaukee.

Milwaukee, aside from the team mascot, is similar to Eastern in the way its two matches from last weekend played out.

Like Eastern, Milwaukee finished the weekend with a win and tie, the 0-0 tie coming against Akron, who defeated Green Bay 3-0.

The Milwaukee Panthers got their win against Robert Morris on Sunday, defeating them 2-0 after scoring two first half goals.

Unlike Green Bay, Milwaukee has some advantages against Eastern on both sides of the ball.

Milwaukee has not given up any goals yet this season and have taken more total shots, 38, while also putting more shots on goal (14) compared to Eastern’s 12.

Eastern’s history with home openers lurks over its effort to start the season on a strong note. Eastern is 9-11-2 all-time in home openers and have lost six straight, the last win coming against IUPUI in 2010.

The Panthers have series leads over both of their opponents: Eastern has a 2-1-2 series record over Green Bay, and Eastern defeated Milwaukee 2-1 in the two team’s only matchup so far in 1998.

Dillan Schorfheide can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]