Men’s soccer team tops Cincinnati 2-0 in opener


File Photo

Eastern’s Edgar Mesa pursues a ball in a tie against Western Michigan last season at Lakeside Field. Mesa was named a Summit League player to watch heading into this season.

Dillan Schorfheide, Assistant Sports Editor

A solid offensive attack was the key aspect for Eastern’s match Monday that ended in a 2-0 victory for the men’s soccer team.

The offense fired 11 total shots in the match and efficiently scored two goals in the first half on three shots.

Compared to Eastern’s second exhibition match against DePaul, the Panthers registered three more total shots, while also scoring more goals in Monday’s match alone than their preseason total (one).

On Monday against Cincinnati, Eastern’s attack had two important effects for the team.

First, by piling on as many shots as Eastern did, the panthers forced Cincinnati to play conservatively at times while trying to erase a two-goal deficit. Because Eastern’s attack kept getting good chances to score, the Bearcats had to be wary and hesitated offensively at times.

Secondly, Eastern’s counterattacks gave its defense a break during the second half.

After only recording one shot in the first half, Cincinnati out-shot Eastern in the second half 9-8, constantly applying pressure on the Panther defense and getting approximately three great chances to score. 

Because of Eastern’s counterattack, the Panthers’ midfielders and forwards were able to move the ball and return the pressure to Cincinnati’s defense, giving Eastern’s defense a break.

The two goal scorers for Eastern were redshirt-junior midfielder/forward Christian Sosnowski and senior midfielder/forward Toby Andrews.

Andrews scored first for Eastern in the 23rd minute on a breakaway shot from outside the box, and Sosnowski scored on a penalty kick in the 41st minute.

On the defensive side, Eastern stayed compact during the Bearcats’ constant pressure during the second half and gave redshirt-sophomore goalkeeper Jonathan Burke some relief on a night where he had to make some important saves of his own.

One of Burke’s vital stops was in the 58th minute, when he correctly dove to his left to stop a penalty kick, which would have cut Eastern’s lead to one.

Later in the 77th minute, Burke stopped a header from a few feet away that came off across from the right side of the field into the box. Burke stopped another header shortly after in the 79th minute.

Eastern’s victory starts the team with a 1-0 record for the season to stay on par with its other conference foes who started the season with wins: Fort Wayne, Oral Roberts and preseason Summit League favorite Denver.

The victory is also Burke’s first win and clean sheet as a collegiate goalkeeper. Cincinnati dropped to 0-2 to start its season.

Eastern’s next two matches will be at home this weekend, starting at 4 p.m. Friday against Evansville and Sunday at 1 p.m. against Green Bay.

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