Senior Zach Medawattage headed in what would become the game winning goal with seven minutes to play in the Eastern men’s soccer team’s 1-0 victory over Saint Francis on Sunday at Lakeside Field.
Medawattage received a pass from teammate Jonathan Huerta and placed the ball from inside the box on the left side, past a diving Saint Francis goalie into the bottom right corner of the net.
Prior to his goal, Medawattage was upset after he missed a previous cross shot that he felt should have been a goal. However, he more than redeemed himself with his crucial goal.
“Johhny (Huerta) put in a good ball from the corner and I realized I could get on to it and I just threw my body at it and it went in,” Medawattage said.
Eastern had multiple shots before the Medawattage goal bounce off the cross bow, which made the goal all the more reliving for Eastern to see fall in.
“It felt like one of those days where it just wasn’t going to go for us, but everyone on the team just knew we had to keep going and keep coming and when we finally did it was just well deserved and it been coming for a long time,” Medawattage said.
Coming into the game at Lakeside Field, Saint Francis was a team that had tallied 109 shots in five game, however, their offense was stifled by the Eastern defense who held them to just four shots in Eastern’s fourth consecutive shut out on defense.
“We were exceptionally good on defense as a unit,” Eastern head coach Kiki Lara said. “Everyone is focused, everyone is committed. The individual defending is better each game. Team defending is better and better each game. Corti was out, he is one of our better center backs and we replaced him with Edgar (Mesa) who did the same job so we guys are ready guys are committed, guys want to win and it takes good defending.
What Saint Francis lacked in offense they made up for in physicality on Sunday as they tallied three yellow cards and red card in a match with a lot of slight pushes and shoves.
“We are always expecting that (physicality) from a team,” Lara said. “It’s a collegiate soccer game its always going to be physical that way. Sometimes when teams come in and they are from a different league that’s the one thing, especially if they don’t have necessarily the control of the ball, the control of the tempo of the game, they are going to try and control with fouls and tackles and stuff like that.”
With the 1-0 win, Eastern moves to 2-0-4 on the season.
“We found a way to be successful, we grinded away, we kept the attitude right and we luckily got a goal,” Lara said.
JJ Bullock can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]