The men’s soccer team hopes to bring their one win and one tie from rivalry week as momentum into its home match against IUPUI Tuesday.
The Panthers clawed their way back against non-conference rival Belmont Sept. 24th after being down 2-1 early in the second half.
In the 64th minute, junior Shady Omar scored a goal from right outside the 18-yard box.
Then in overtime the Panthers were able to win the game 3-2 with a cross assist from redshirt senior Christian Sosnowski that was nailed in to the back of the net by junior Davi Giradi.
On Sept. 28th against Denver, the Panthers faced some adversity in the 40th minute when freshman Delphy Sabu received a red card, and the Panthers had to play one man down.
Then in the 86th minute Giradi received a red card right before overtime forcing the Panthers to play nine men against 11.
”Delphy’s red card definitely changed how we were playing in the game,” redshirt junior goalkeeper Jonathan Burke said. “We had to switch our tactic around a bit but it was something that we expected. Our goals for every game is to expect the worst conditions.”
The Panthers kept their composure behind Burke’s performance and recorded a double overtime 0-0 tie against their conference foe Denver. Burke finished the game with eight saves.
Denver also outshot the Panthers. Denver took 27 shots with eight of those being on goal. The Panthers took three shots with none of them being on goal.
“The composure of our defense and whole team was outstanding,” Burke said. “Yes, they outshot us but the team worked hard to force tougher shots and tougher scoring scenarios for Denver.”
The men’s soccer team’s mindset is to focus on the next game rather than their last.
“After this week our thoughts and focus is all towards our next game,” Burke said. “It was some big results but Quinn Rechner said it best: ‘This game doesn’t mean anything (referring to Denver game) if we don’t come up big in our next conference games coming up.’ A freshman saying that on our team really says a lot about our team and our determination by everyone.”
Burke currently is third on the Summit League saves list with 35 on the season. Burke, along with the Panthers’ defense, has decreased their goals against average to 1.5 for the 2019 season.
“The defense game by game is getting better and stronger,” Burke said. “When we defend it’s all 11 guys on the field. I think we are still not at our full potential yet and have some little things to work on in order to make our defense perfect.”
With the result against Denver, the Panthers are 3-4-1. The Panthers also are in second place in the Summit League standings.
The Panthers will come back home where, so far, they have not lost a game and won two games.
In 2018 the Panthers tied IUPUI in a double overtime 0-0 score. The Panthers outshot IUPUI with 14 shots and four of those on goal. IUPUI only shot the ball four times with two of those shots on goal.
IUPUI’s record is currently 3-3-1. Two of its losses came from similar opponents the Panthers have played.
IUPUI lost 1-0 against Xavier September 24th. The Panthers lost 3-0 against Xavier in the second game of the season.
IUPUI lost against Bradley 1-0 in its second game of the season. The Panthers defeated Bradley 1-0 for their second win of the season Sept. 13th.
IUPUI has scored eight goals on the season. Its leading scorers are Alan Aguilar and Yan Souza who each have three goals.
The Panthers have scored nine goals for the season.
Their goal production has been spread across eight players: Giradi, Omar, Sosnowski, senior Alex Casteneda, redshirt freshman Munir Sherali, senior Edgar Mesa, redshirt sophomore Cameron Behm and sophomore Nate Francke.
Seven of the Panthers goals for this season have came in the second period. Omar is the leading scorer so far in 2019 with two goals that have both been scored in the second half of a match.
The men’s soccer team’s match is set for Tuesday at 2 p.m. at Lakeside Field.
Blake Faith can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]