The Daily Eastern News

Eastern women’s soccer team falls to Southeast Missouri 1-0 in overtime

Eastern+junior+Sarah+DeWolf+pushes+the+ball+upfield+against+Southeast+Missouri+on+Oct.+11+at+Lakeside+Field.+The+Panthers+lost+the+match+1-0+in+overtime.+
Eastern junior Sarah DeWolf pushes the ball upfield against Southeast Missouri on Oct. 11 at Lakeside Field. The Panthers lost the match 1-0 in overtime.

Eastern junior Sarah DeWolf pushes the ball upfield against Southeast Missouri on Oct. 11 at Lakeside Field. The Panthers lost the match 1-0 in overtime.

Adam Tumino

Adam Tumino

Eastern junior Sarah DeWolf pushes the ball upfield against Southeast Missouri on Oct. 11 at Lakeside Field. The Panthers lost the match 1-0 in overtime.

Adam Tumino, Women's Soccer Reporter

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The Eastern women’s soccer team dropped their match to Southeast Missouri 1-0 in overtime on Thursday in what was the final home match of the regular season.

It was the Panthers’ fifth match to reach overtime this season and the first overtime match that did not end in a draw.

The Panthers outshot the rival Redhawks in the match, including a shot just 22 seconds into overtime by senior Kayla Stolfa that sailed over the crossbar.

Southeast Missouri scored just four minutes later when junior Esmie Gonzalez redirected a free kick passed Eastern goalkeeper Sara Teteak.

The goal was Gonzalez’s team-leading sixth of the year and it gave the Redhawks their second conference win of the season.

The loss dropped Eastern to 4-7-4 on the season and 3-3-2 in conference play. It was also their fourth home loss in eight matches at Lakeside Field.

“Losing in overtime always sucks,” head coach Jake Plant said. “Losing altogether is not great, and losing in overtime just feels like a punch in the gut.”

He said that he does not expect the disappointment of an overtime loss to linger with the team.

“It’s something that will motivate this team rather than kill it,” Plant said.

The Panther defense held for most of the match, but fell just short of notching their sixth conference shutout.

The offense managed to get off 13 shots, their fourth most in a match this season. The last time they had 13 or more shots was against Eastern Kentucky on Sept. 16, a match in which they also failed to score. It ended in a scoreless draw.

Eastern has tallied just six goals in their last 10 matches, and have not scored multiple goals in a match since Sept. 2 at Chicago State.

“If you want to talk about winning, and really contesting, you’ve got to put the ball in the net,” Plant said. “You can’t just rely on defending very well, which honestly we did.”

The Panthers did not lack scoring chances, as five of their shots were on target.

“At some point that breakaway game when you win three or four nil is coming. It should’ve been today.”

The Panthers will have a chance to put this motivation to the test when they travel for a match against Fort Wayne on Saturday.

It will be a non-conference match, and Plant said it will be a good opportunity to get things corrected before closing out the conference season next weekend.

“I think we can use (Fort Wayne) to sort of tweak what we didn’t like today,” Plant said.

He said that the pressure that comes with conference games will be absent against Fort Wayne.

“We can just focus on playing well and doing our thing,” Plant said. “There are almost zero repercussions and we can get a little bit of confidence back.”

The Panthers have two conference matches left before the tournament begins on Oct. 26.

Today’s match was also the “Hope for Hannah” match, which honored current Eastern soccer player Hannah Heinz during her battle with cancer.

To read more about Heinz, her fight with cancer and her experience this season, see more coverage in the Daily Eastern News on Monday, Oct. 15.

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Eastern women’s soccer team falls to Southeast Missouri 1-0 in overtime