Men’s soccer team set for two matches this weekend


File Photo

Sophomore forward Shady Omar wins a head ball against two St. Francis attackers in a September 2017 match at Lakeside Field.

Oscar Rzodkiewicz, Men's Soccer Reporter

The Eastern’s men’s soccer team home opener takes place Friday at 4 p.m. against Evansville, and the Panthers will follow it up with a match against Green Bay at Lakeside Field on Sunday at 1 p.m.

Eastern opened the regular season with a 2-0 road win against Cincinnati on Monday.

Eastern hit the 2-goal mark in just one game last season, and head coach Kiki Lara said the strides have all been part of the plan.

“We want to stick to our process of creating sustainable chances,” Lara said. “It’s all a process that began three years ago. We need to stick to the principles that we started with and that represent our program.”

Both of Eastern’s contests over the extended weekend will be at home, and the Panthers found much more success at home than on the road last season. 

Eastern finished with a 2-2-3 record overall at home and struggled more on the road, posting a 2-6-3 record, including a 0-1 neutral field record.

Lara said his team feels good playing at Lakeside Field, but simply wants to stick to the blueprint that won them their first contest.

“We have a game plan regardless of where we are,” Lara said. “We just feel normal healthy responsibility to represent who we want to be. It is always helpful to play in front of our crowd and people that root for us.”

Eastern’s upcoming opponents have seen mixed results so far this season.

Evansville struggled in its first two regular season matches, allowing eight goals and scoring just once across the two contests against Utah Valley and UNLV.

Evansville sophomore Adam Snow, who ranked second on the team in goals last season, posted the lone score against UNLV last Sunday.

Evansville’s slow start and porous defense should ring well to Eastern’s ears, as Lara wants to keep improving upon what he saw in Eastern’s first match.

“We just seek to improve every time we step on the field,” Lara said. “We need to continue to see that growth mindset.”

Green Bay’s record sits at 1-0-1 after a 1-1 draw to Hartford in its first game and stealing a win against Northern Illinois 3-2.

Green Bay ranked second in the Horizon League preseason poll, and four different players have scored already this year for Green Bay, including junior Tomer Zloczower.

Zloczower finished second on Green Bay’s team last season in points and goals with 18 and 5, respectively.

Eastern hits the road after the weekend to face Bradley next Friday at 7 p.m.

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