Men’s soccer loses first home game of the season against Oral Roberts

Blake Faith, Men's Soccer Reporter

Dillan Schorfheide | The Daily Eastern News Redshirt sophomore Luke Kurili won a header in Eastern’s 1-0 win agaisnt IUPUI on Oct. 1st. at Lakeside Field.

The men’s soccer team fell short of its fourth straight home victory, 2-0 to Oral Roberts, but the Panthers refused to give up competing until the final minute of the match.

In the first half the Panthers held their own for the first 30 minutes of the game. In the 32nd minute Oral Roberts’ Reed Berry scored off a quick cross from Mac Roetcisoender.

The goal was Berry’s eight of the season, which currently is first on the 2019 Summit League scoring list.

Oral Roberts took 11 shots with seven of those going on goal in the first half. Redshirt junior goalkeeper Jonathan Burke recorded six saves in the first half.

The Panther offense did not record a shot in the first half.

Entering the second half the Panthers broke the huddle confident and knowing that this game was far from over. The Panthers, coming into the game against Oral Roberts, scored eight goals in the second half so far in the 2019 season.

In the 52nd minute the Panthers gave up their second goal of the game when Tanguy Guerinenau took a shot from the top of the box and scored it to make the score to 2-0.

The Panther offense recorded two shots in the second half, but only one of those went on goal. Junior Davi Girardi recorded the lone shot on goal when he broke open right around the top of the box and took a shot that gave Oral Roberts’ goalkeeper Miles Motakef his only save of the game.

On the defensive side the Panthers only allowed Oral Roberts two shots that were not on goal.

The Panther defense regrouped and did not allow much opportunities. Senior Edgar Mesa and freshman Quinn Rechner controlled their areas effectively and were key parts in the entire Panther mentality to not give up until the final minute.

“That’s a standard for us and an expectation for us that we are known for,” head coach Kiki Lara said on his players’ refusal to give up. “Nothing comes easy when you play EIU soccer and the boys did a really good job at that.

With the loss the Panthers’ record drops to 4-5-1 on the season. The Panthers also moved from second to fourth in the Summit League standings.

Oral Roberts with the win now holds a 9-1 record and a conference record of 2-0. Currently Oral Roberts is first in the Summit League Standings.

The Panthers, after the 2-0 loss to Oral Roberts, already have their focus on the next game, which is a non-conference game against Northern Illinois.

“They (Oral Roberts) did a good job at shutting down a lot of our attack,” Lara said. “We need to make sure that we are a little bit sharper with speed of play and getting the ball out to areas where there is space and numbers.”

Northern Illinois is 4-6-1 so far in 2019 and has scored 13 goals on the season.

Nick Markanich is the leading scorer for Northern Illinois with four goals.

Against Northern Illinois in 2018 the Panthers lost 2-0 at Lakeside Field.  This year the Panthers will play their non-conference opponent on the road Tuesday at 6 p.m.

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