Men’s soccer team falls 2-1 to DePaul in exhibition play


File Photo | The Daily Eastern News

Eastern redshirt-junior Christian Sosnowski heads a ball away from a Saint Francis player in a 1-0 Eastern win last season at Lakeside Field. Sosnowski is a key returner for an Eastern team that welcomes a lot of freshman to the roster.

Oscar Rzodkiewicz, Men's Soccer Reporter

The men’s soccer team dropped their second and final exhibition match of the season 2-1 as they traveled north against DePaul University on Tuesday afternoon.

The game started on a rough note for Eastern as the team allowed two goals in the first 28 minutes of play.

Eastern bounced back in the second half and got on the board with a score from sophomore Erik Isaksson off an assist from sophomore Jake Andrews in the 83rd minute but was unable to complete the comeback.

Head coach Kiki Lara stressed stout defense prior to the game, and despite the loss, he remained optimistic.

“Besides the two goals we gave up, there was an effort there to track runners in our box and protect our goalkeeper,” Lara said. “However, the game is a 90-minute marathon which involves extreme focus, and even one moment can cost you a match. That is still where we need to improve.”

Eastern took a loss to Wisconsin, ranked 18th in the NCAA, last Tuesday in its first exhibition match of the season by a score of 2-0.

“The matches exposed areas where we need to focus in on the next three to four weeks in order to get up to speed for Summit (League) play,” Lara said. “The matches exposed some weaknesses we need to improve upon and gave a lot of new players high level experience which in turn allows them to mature.”

Eastern secured five shots on goal to DePaul’s four, a step up from the two Eastern was able to muster against Wisconsin and a good sign after being outshot on goal by 50 over the course of last season by opponents.

However, the Panthers saved only two shots compared to DePaul’s four saves.

The lone goal scorer for Eastern, Isaksson, scored despite recording zero goals and one assist last season in 16 matches played.

The two losses will not affect Eastern’s overall record for the season, and Lara said he felt positive in the end.

“We know during the season that things may not go our way during matches early on,” Lara said, “and we want to be a team that finds solutions to get results regardless.”

Eastern will face Cincinnati in its first regular season match on Monday, August 27 at 7 p.m.

Oscar Rzodkiewicz can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]