Men’s soccer attempts comeback, falls short 3-2 against Ohio State

Blake Faith, Men's Soccer Reporter

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File Photo | The Daily Eastern News
Jake Andrews fights off a defender for possession of the ball, as the defender grabs his arm and jersey. Eastern lost the September 2018 match 2-0 against Northern Illinois at Lakeside Field.

Shady Omar scored a goal and had an assist for the Panthers, but the men’s soccer team suffered their third straight loss to open the season against Ohio State in a close 3-2 loss Sunday.

“Three games in a row where the guys have came back and made themselves relevant in the game,” said head coach Kiki Lara. “This team can come back on anybody in the country.”

Last year Ohio State finished last in NCAA Division I men’s soccer for total team goals scored with eight goals. Before Sunday’s match against Eastern, Ohio State scored five goals to start their season.

Ohio State opened the scoring when leading scorer Devyn Etling scored his third goal of the season in the fourth minute of the game.

In the 40th minute Luis Hernandez scored the second goal of the game to give the Buckeyes a 2-0 lead to end the first half.

Ohio State recorded 14 shots in the first half compared to Eastern’s one shot. Redshirt junior Jonathan Burke recorded three saves for the Panthers in the first half dealing with five shots on goal.

Ohio State’s goalkeeper Parker Siegfried did not have much to deal with as the Panther’s did not get a shot on goal. The second half looked a lot different than the first, though.

In the 71st minute redshirt senior Christian Sosnowski made the most of the first shot on the goal for the Panthers. With an assist from Omar, a junior, and redshirt sophomore Cameron Behm, Sosnowski scored his first goal of the season bringing the Panthers to a one-goal difference.

Last year Sosnowski was the leading scorer with three goals for the Panthers.

In the 83rd minute, Omar would help the Panthers once more by scoring a penalty kick goal to make the score 2-2.

Last year Omar was tied for second place on the Panthers with two goals. Omar also had

“Very proud of the guys who scored, Christian being nice and calm with a one-vs-one with the goalkeeper and slotting it, as well as Shady stepping up and putting it away,” Burke said. “We came back from halftime ready to go and ready to get some goals on the board.”

Jake Scheper scored the game-winning goal for the Buckeyes in the 89th minute to give Ohio State a 3-2 victory and their third straight win.

Burke finished the game with five saves tallying his season save total to 12 saves in the first three games.

“The second half we really brought it and despite the defeat I am very proud of the team,” Burke said. “We showed fight in the second half and that was the first time that I have been here when we came back like that being two goals down.”

In the first three games of 2018 the Panthers allowed only three goals. In 2019 the Panthers have allowed three goals in each game to begin the season.

The team is currently starting two freshmen at defense to start the season, Delphy Sabu and Quinn Rechner. The only veteran from 2018 is an OVC player to watch: Senior Edgar Mesa.

There are 13 games remaining on the men’s soccer schedule. It is always reminded that no one ever remembers how a team starts the season, but the final record.

“The main thing is goals against. The goals have been goals we can fix,” Lara said. “We need to look at video and eliminate the details in order to better ourselves going further into the season.”

Burke and the team are excited and ready to compete at home for the first time.

“We are ready to hold our ground at home and get a big result,” Burke said. “My individual focus is to lead the guys as much as I can with my positivity.”

Burke continued: “Christian, Edgar, and I are gonna be on each guy expecting the most out of them come Tuesday. We need to get a big result and have to take what we learn in practice to our game against (St. Xavier).”

The men’s soccer team will play its first home game of the season against St. Xavier. The game will begin at 3 p.m. Tuesday at Lakeside Field.

St. Xavier is 1-2-1 so far this season and they have scored three goals. St Xavier beat Cornerstone University 2-1 for its lone win.

St. Xavier’s tie was 0-0 double overtime finish against Aquinas College.

“We want to represent EIU athletics and EIU soccer well,” Lara said. “We are going to get better every day and represent the men’s soccer culture well.”

Blake Faith can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]