Eastern men’s soccer team falls 2-1 to Valparaiso at home


Karina Delgado

Eastern senior Jake Andrews keeps the ball away from a Valparaiso defender in the Panthers 2-1 loss Wednesday at Lakeside Field.

Dillan Schorfheide, Assistant Sports Editor

The rain was not the only thing that put a damper on the men’s soccer team Wednesday.

Valparaiso (3-7-2) scored two goals in the second half of Wednesday’s match to get a road win against the Panthers (3-7-3), after Eastern scored the first goal of the match.

Earlier rain in the day made Lakeside Field slippery, and players were sliding it seemed every other step.

At halftime, the looming, dark clouds finally came and released their downpour, forcing the second half of the match to be played at the former rugby field.

The common sports mantra that the second half is a new game was true for both teams, as that was when all the scoring happened; the players still slid around a lot too, but not as much.

Luke Kurili netted his first goal of the season three minutes into the second half and gave Eastern a 1-0 lead. 

Cole Harkrader played a ball from around midfield to Toby Andrews, who was about 23 yards from the goal, and Andrews tapped the ball forward to Kurili, who chipped it over the Valparaiso goalkeeper at the top of the box.

Kurili is the seventh Panther to score this season, and his goal puts the team’s total to nine on the season, just one less than last year’s total for that season.

Even though Eastern had taken the lead, Valparaiso free kick play was on point in the second half.

Just a minute after Kurili’s goal, the Crusaders were awarded a free kick about 22 yards away from the goal, on the right side of the field.

Lucca Lacerda took the free kick for Valparaiso, and his curling cross was headed into the back of the net by Akeem Bradford, from about the penalty kick spot.

Valparaiso then took the lead with 5:15 left in the match.

Simeon Packer committed a foul about 34 yards away from Eastern’s goal, and Lacerda hit a line drive to the upper right corner of the goal to give his team the lead and eventual win.

After Bradford tied the match for Valparaiso, not a lot happened for the Crusaders, but Eastern had two great chances that almost resulted in goals.

With 29:45 left in the half, Kurili once again found himself with a chance to score at the same spot where he scored his goal, when a Valparaiso defender missed the ball on an attempted kick and let it go through his legs to Kurili.

But this time, Kurili shot the ball right at the goalie, who made the easy save.

Then six minutes later, David Camacho Jr. hit a shot from 25 yards out when he noticed the goalie was far off his line, but the goalie managed to get his fingertips on the lined shot just enough to deflect the ball off its goal-destined course.

Wednesday’s home match was the second-to-last one for the Panthers, and their last home match will be Oct. 27 against Fort Wayne in Eastern’s second-to-last conference match.

The next match for Eastern will be Oct. 20 on the road against conference-opponent Oral Roberts.

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