Panthers host first OVC match Sunday


Bryan Bund

The women’s soccer team celebrates a goal in the Panthers’ 3-2 double OT win over Fort Wayne Sept. 8. Eastern has its OVC opener at home Sunday afternoon.

Dillan Schorfheide, Women's Soccer Reporter

Eastern’s women’s soccer team has its first conference match of the season Sunday against Southern Illinois Edwardsville.

The match will be the sixth home match for the Panthers, and it will be the second OVC match for the Cougars.

Both teams up to this point have been preparing for the conference matches, but the Panthers have had a better start to their season than the Cougars have.

Eastern, which is on a three-match win streak, has placed itself in third in the OVC with a 5-2-1 record behind first-place Murray State (5-0) and second-place Austin Peay (5-2).

SIUE on the other hand, has a losing record in its first seven games, sitting in ninth place in OVC standings with a 2-4-1 record.

If the Cougars were looking for a break after their 5-1 loss to Missouri State on Sunday, they will be disappointed for this weekend.

SIUE faces two of the top four teams in the OVC this weekend, first Belmont (4-2-1), who’s fourth in the OVC, on Friday and then the Panthers on Sunday.

And while the Cougars are coming off a loss, the Panthers have momentum on their side after a weekend sweep, in which the offense was able to net five goals in two games.

In the offensive category, Eastern has outscored SIUE 16-5 on the season, and defensively, the Panthers have allowed five fewer goals (10) than the Cougars (15).

Also, Eastern has three players, Kate Olson, Sarah DeWolf and Hannah Heinz, who have become a scoring threat off the bench. They lead the team with three goals, with five other players who have scored as well. SIUE has three players who have scored the team’s five goals, two of which, Caroline Hoefert and MacKenzie Litzsinger, who have two goals each.

The two teams have three common opponents this season that have brought different results, both teams having played UIC, IUPUI and Western Illinois.

Both teams beat Western, SIUE 1-0 and Eastern 2-1. Eastern lost to UIC in an exhibition match 4-1, and the Cougars lost to UIC in a regular season match 1-0. Both teams also defeated IUPUI, Eastern 2-0 and SIUE 3-1 in an exhibition match.

Eastern is 4-1 at home this season, compared to SIUE’s 0-1 away record. The match is set for 1 p.m.

Before Eastern’s first OVC match, the Panthers will travel to Indianapolis to face Marian University Friday at 6 p.m. Marian is 4-2 on the year while boasting an undefeated 4-0 home record. Eastern has an even away record of 1-1-1.

The Knights have the scoring edge on the Panthers, with a total of 27 goals on the season, 11 more than the Panthers. And much like Eastern, Marian is riding a three-match win streak that is part of a stretch of eight home matches in a row.

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