Panthers set for home opener

Vince Lovergine, Men's Soccer Reporter

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While the Eastern men’s soccer team still has not won a game to this point, it has not lost either. In two matches, so far this season, it has tied to Green Bay and Milwaukee.

The offense has been a struggle so far as the team has combined for just two goals in two games. Senior goalie Mike Novotny has held his own keeping his team in games, as he as faced 15 shots while saving 13 of them.

With being a leader on the men’s team, Novotny likes the low-scoring games because in his mind, he is more focused on the task at hand.

“It actually is easier to stay focused in these kinds of games because something is always happening in our side of the field,” Novotny said.

Novotny said being vocal on the field is a crucial aspect of the game.

In staying focused on his game, he also wants to help his teammates.

“As a goalie, I always have had to be a leader on the field,” he said. “My job is to give the guys younger or older who are in front of me the information that is needed for them to succeed. Since I see the whole field it is crucial that I have a voice throughout the whole game.”

With two ties to their name, the Panthers welcome Western Michigan to town for their first home game of the season in a non-conference matchup.

Western Michigan has yet to play on the road this year, but the Broncos have had a strong start to this season so far, going 2-0 after winning both matches against LIU Brooklyn and Stetson University.

Senior Brandon Bye has been a force on offense for Western Michigan despite only playing in one of the games, as he leads his team in assists with 3 and points with 5.

Eastern sophomore Johnny Huerta, who was one of the main focal points of the offense last year, has struggled through this season but knows his game and team’s offense get better.

“It’s something that is going to come as the season goes on for us,” Huerta said. “We’ve been training it at practice and are working to become more dangerous in the attack. We just need to keep trusting each other and continue to work hard as a team to get to where we need to be offensively.”

The Panthers and Broncos drop the ball tomorrow at three at Lake Side Field.

Vince Lovergine can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]