Women’s defense compliments the offense’s success


Bryan Bund

Sophomore Henar Urteaga drives past the Chicago State defenders in the Panthers’ 5-1 win at Lakeside Field Sept. 3. Eastern is 3-2 to start its season.

Dillan Schorfheide, Women's Soccer Reporter

Eastern’s women’s soccer team undoubtedly has some momentum going into its weekend home matches, with scoring seven goals in its two games last week, while picking up the win Sunday.

The goals from the matches last weekend bumped the team’s total scoring to 11 goals on the season, already more than the total from last season of 10.

“Continuing to work on our offensive movement off the ball in order to create options and confuse the opponent’s defense has really worked in our favor,” sophomore defender Lindsey Carlson said.

She added it was a goal for the team to score more than it did last season. And while the offense has been putting up the big numbers recently, as far as scoring goes, the Panthers’ defense has been playing well to stop the other team from scoring and give the offense more chances to score.

So far in the young season, the Panther defense has given up a total of seven goals in six games, or 1.16 goals a game. On top of that, the Panthers have recorded two shutouts in those six games.

The defense has done a great job of not only stopping the opposing offense from scoring, but getting the ball out of the defensive third to the midfielders and forwards, giving them scoring chances and possession.

A perfect example of this was the Panthers’ 5-1 victory against Chicago State Sunday. Junior defender Kayla Stolfa set the Eastern record for most assists in a game for the women’s soccer team with four.

Stolfa was able to move up with the offense and cross the ball into the box for her forwards to score.

Eastern’s defense has helped the Panthers to maintain leads and give the offense room to work with by not letting them fall behind for the most part.

“I think from our goalie to our back line to the midfield and to the forwards, we have gotten better on when to apply pressure and when to delay,” Carlson said. “Our mindset right now is to really be aware of the opposition of where they are and anticipate where their runs are going because unfortunately that’s where most of our conceded goals have come from, through set pieces and disorganization.”

Both Eastern’s offense and defense seemingly have favorable matchups for their weekend matches. The Panthers’ opponent Friday is the Fort Wayne Mastodons.

Fort Wayne has given up nine goals, while scoring one of its own in its 0-5 start to the regular season. The match is set for Friday at 3 p.m. at Lakeside Field; the Panthers’ fourth home game of the season.

Eastern’s fifth home game is Sunday at 1 p.m. against Western.

The Leathernecks have started their season much like the Mastodons with an 0-4 record, not scoring any goals yet and conceding nine goals in their four games. Western will make a stop in Lexington, Kentucky Friday to face the University of Kentucky before coming to Charleston for Sunday’s matchup.

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