Men’s soccer team heads to Bradley


Sean Hastings

Sophomore Andre Nappa kicks the ball toward the middle of the field. The men’s soccer team has been shut out six games in a row.

Vince Lovergine, Men's Soccer Reporter

The Eastern men’s soccer team will travel to Bradley University Tuesday and conclude its three game road-trip against the Braves in Peoria.

The Panthers have struggled as of late, getting shutout in six straight games, losing in five of those six contests.

Bradley and Eastern are very familiar with each other, as the two have met 12 times since 2007, with the Panthers losing in nine of those games. The last time the Panthers defeated Bradley was in 2009. The Panthers won that game 1-0.

Overall, the Braves lead the all-time series against Eastern 16-8-2 heading into Tuesday’s match. Since 2007, Eastern is 1-9-2 against Bradley, as they have lost seven straight matches against them.

Eastern and Bradley have not played since 2014, Bradley walked away with 3-0 victory. The game against Eastern will be the finale of a three-game homestand.

Playing at home has served Bradley well, as they have posted a 5-2 record in Peoria this season. Bradley has 18 goals in 12 games played this season, and when playing in Peoria, they’ve scored 12 goals, while letting up just two goals.

Looking to stop the Bradley offense will be senior goalkeeper Mike Novotny, who had four saves in the Panthers most recent loss in Denver, giving him 69 for the season.

“I hope to keep doing the best for the team to keep us in the games,” he said. “Once again, we need to find a way to put the ball in the back of the net and that will translate into wins.”

Novotny has some experience against Bradley, as he played in the 2014 match-up, playing 90 minutes, recording two saves, while allowing three goals.

Eastern has scored just four goals all year, and going up against a solid Bradley defense might hinder its chances.

Roman Schindler leads most of the major categories for the Braves, as he leads in goals with five, assists with four, and points with 14.

He also leads in shots with 31.

Goalkeeper Brandon Bares is keeping pace with Novotny in saves as Barnes has 66 saves.

Barnes does have one advantage, as he has six shutouts, with Novotny having five.  Eastern and Bradley play at 7 p.m.

Vince Lovergine can be reached at

581-2812 or [email protected]