Eastern men’s soccer team travels to Marshall


Bryan Bund

Shady Omar, middle, and Zach Medawattage, right, attempt to knock the ball down on Sunday afternoon at Lakeside Field. The Panthers win 1-0 to improve to 2-0-4 on the season.

JJ Bullock, Assistant Sports Editor

The Eastern men’s soccer team is looking to shut out its fifth consecutive opponent on defense when they travel to face Marshall today in Huntington, West Virginia.

Eastern shut out Saint Francis University on Sunday to give them their fourth straight of the year and confidence is high on defense heading into the game against Marshall.

“We have a nice streak of shutouts going so far and we look to keep that going,” Eastern goalkeeper Mike Novotny said. “Players are getting more and more confident with their one-vs-one defending and that definitely makes my job easier.”

Offensively, Marshall ranks No. 4 in Conference USA in goals scored with eight and third in their conference in shots taken this season with 62.

Five of Marshall’s eight goals have been scored by freshman Lewis Knight. Knight leads the conference in goals scored, and is tied for sixth nationally. He is also second in the conference with 14 shots taken.

“Marshall is going to be a tough test for us,” Novotny said. “They are a quality team that knows how to put the ball in the back of the net. It’s going to be a battle tomorrow.

Last season Marshall and Eastern met for the first time in program history. Marshall won 1-0 at Lakeside Field.

“Marshall is a bit more experienced getting some big wins this year,” Novotny said. “We have to come out strong and can’t take them lightly especially on their home turf.”

Marshall is 3-2-1 heading into the game against Eastern. Marshall has only one win against a team with a winning record this season and has lost two games to opponents with winning records.

Marshall tied with Coastal Carolina (2-3-0) 1-1 to open their season. Then the Thundering Herd lost at home against Evansville (4-1-0) 1-0. They also beat UNC-Asheville (0-5-0) at home 3-0. Marshall then won consecutive games against Duquense (1-3-0) and Robert Morris (0-6). Marshall lost their last game against Charlotte (2-1). 

Eastern is currently undefeated on the season as they sport a record of 2-0-4.

Eastern has suffered their first major injury of the season, as they will be without forward Alex Castaneda who broke his foot early in the game Sunday against Saint Francis.

Eastern is about to begin a stretch where they will play three games in seven days. Two of the games, including the Marshall game, will be on the road. The other road game is against Evansville this Sunday.

The final of the three games will be a home matchup for Eastern against Wright State next Tuesday.

Before these three games, Eastern had just one game in the last five days.

JJ Bullock can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]