Men’s soccer team ties draw record

Vince Lovergine, Men's Soccer Reporter


The Eastern men’s soccer team opened Summit League play on Saturday, and held No. 23 Omaha scoreless in the 0-0 draw.

In the draw, Eastern tied their record for draws in a season—a record that stood for 34 years.

Back in 1982, the Panthers tied five matches in the season, and Eastern has five draws in 11 games so far this year.

Eastern had a 13-3-5 overall record back in 1982, and currently this year, Eastern sits at 2-3-5.

While Eastern has struggled this year to score goals, it was a positive sign to see Eastern hold a solid Omaha team into a draw.

Even though the Panthers didn’t lose, it snapped their three-game losing streak, but it’s the fourth game in a row Eastern has not scored.

The Panthers are a better team at home this year, with a 1-1-3 record, and a 1-2-2 on the road.

This scenario happened to Eastern last year during a four-game losing streak without scoring a goal, but won the next game against Northern Illinois. If history repeats its self, Eastern will snap out of their funk.

On the defensive side, Eastern has been better as of late as both teams held each other shot less for the first 37 minutes of the game.

Omaha took a total seven shots with five on goal, while Eastern kept pace with Omaha. They had five shots with three on goal.

With another shutout for the Panthers’ defense, that gives senior goalkeeper Mike Novotny five shutouts on the season.

That was the first shutout for Eastern since defeating St. Francis 1-0 back on Sept. 10.

Novotny had six shutouts combined over three seasons, and he already has five this season, with eight games remaining on the schedule.

Both the offense and defense are going to be key for Panthers going forward, with conference play continuing in the coming weeks.

While the Panthers do not play until Saturday against in-state rival Western Illinois, that will start a three-game road trip for Eastern.

While it wasn’t a win, Novotny said it was a big confidence boost for his team going forward.

“We just had a good result against one of the top teams in the nation,” he said “That is a massive confidence booster for the team especially since that was a conference game as well. Defense was top notch against Omaha. Goals for us are going to come as long as we keep creating chances like we did on Saturday.”

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