The men’s soccer team suffered its second straight loss on Friday as Northern Illinois came to Lakeside Field and defeated the Panthers by scoring two goals with some flare.
Northern Illinois (6-2-0) netted two shots off impressive volleys from crosses into the Eastern (2-4-2) 18-yard box.
The Huskies got on the board 16 minutes into the first half, when they worked the ball into the right corner of the field. Midfielder Kevin Rodriguez kicked a low-flying cross to about the penalty kick marker in the Panthers’ box, where defender Anthon Markanich flew in late and jump-kicked a line drive to the back of the net off one bounce.
“They did break us there, we didn’t get to the ball and to defend the cross well,” head coach Kiki Lara said.
Northern Illinois’ second goal was scored just under nine minutes into the second half, when Northern midfielder Irvin Dominguez crossed the ball from the opposite corner on the same side of the field to forward Nick Markanich, who was waiting at the top of Eastern’s box. He perfectly timed a sideway bicycle kick and put a line drive in the back of the net for a security goal.
Along with saying his team did not defend the crosses well that led to Northern’s goals, Lara said Northern’s volley-goals were very good shots. The Huskies finished the match with seven shots on goal.
In his eighth start in goal this season, Jonathan Burke gave up two goals on the great shots from Northern and faced plenty of other hard shots.
Three minutes into the match, Northern forward Jan Maertins got a shot from six yards out, but Burke made the save. In the whole match, Burke faced nine shots and made five saves.
On the offensive side, Eastern, for the second straight match, had a hard time formulating an offensive attack and getting shots.
The Panthers finished Friday’s match with three shots, none of them on goal.
Lara said the Panthers had a hard time getting the ball to the forwards and playing around them, and that his team’s rotational play was off.
Friday was the second straight match where Eastern had trouble getting shots against its opponent.
On Tuesday, in a 2-0 loss to Wright State, Eastern only had five shots and two on goal.
The Panthers did have two really good chances to score: With 21 minutes left in the match, Eric Anderson, who was fresh into the match, made a cross from the right corner into the box, and Shady Omar attempted a diving header and missed the ball, and what would have likely been a goal, by less than an inch.
Then with seven minutes left in the match, Anderson had a wide open shot from a few feet away from the goal and hit the ball too hard over the net.
With Friday’s loss, Eastern is still looking for its first home win of the season, currently holding a 0-2-1 home record.
The Panthers’ next match is Tuesday at 6:30 p.m., when they travel south to face Belmont.
Dillan Schorfheide can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]