Men’s soccer loses 5-1 to Northern Illinois

Blake Faith, Men's Soccer Reporter

The men’s soccer team lost on the road against interstate conference rival Northern Illinois 5-1 Tuesday, and with the loss, the Panthers are now on a two-game losing streak.

The scoring started early in the game when Northern’s Miguel Maynez Jr. scored 33 seconds into the match. A minute later Northern Illinois’ leading goal scorer, Nick Markanich, scored his fifth goal of the season to make the score 2-0.

The Panthers countered with a goal of their own in the third minute of the match. Junior Shady Omar netted a goal off an assist from Nate Francke to make the score 2-1. Omar increased his goal total for the season to three, which leads the Panthers.

Northern Illinois increased their lead when Manyez Jr. scored his second goal of the game in the 15th minute to make the score 3-1. With this two-goal game Manyez Jr. has three goals total in 2019.

In the 21st minute Northern Illinois recorded their fourth and final goal in the first half after Anthony Markanich scored his third goal of the season with Alex Welch recording the assist.

The Panthers totaled four shots in the first half, but only two were on goal. Northern Illinois shot the ball eight times with five going on goal.

In the second half Northern Illinois scored their fifth and final goal of the game. In the 57th minute Welch scored a goal to add to his stat line along the assist.

The Panthers outshot Northern Illinois 6-8 in the second half. Both teams had three of their shots go on goal. 

Eastern’s redshirt junior goalkeeper Jonathan Burke recorded three saves in the game. With the five goals allowed Burke’s goals against average increases to 1.7 on the season. 

“The second half was a lot better than the first and we looked at it as we stop the scoring here,” Burke said. “We said that first half happened and we can’t change it, now we go into the second half and play the defense that we know.”

The Panthers’ record after the match falls to 4-6-1. For comparison, in the 2018 season, at the ten-game mark, the Panthers recorded two of their three wins and three of their four ties. 

“We had some big performances from guys tonight despite the loss,” Burke said. “We really saw guys who wanted it and were not going to give up until the final whistle. Guys like Shady Omar, Edgar Mesa and Jonas Castalano all put in a good shift the second half really showing their grit.”

Anyone who follows the team knows the program is built on its constant ability to defend. It is seldom that the Panther defense allows five goals in a match. 

The last time the Panthers allowed more than five goals in a match was against Xavier in 2015. The Panthers allowed eight goals in that match.

The team will have the next week off from competition, which is its longest break since mid-September. Its next match is against Milwaukee.

Against Milwaukee in 2018, the Panthers lost 2-1 on the road in overtime. This year the men’s soccer team will play Milwaukee at home Tuesday, Oct. 15, at Lakeside Field.

This non-conference matchup with Milwaukee will be followed by three straight Summit League matches, two of which will be road games for the Panthers.

Eastern is 1-4-1 away from Lakeside Field this season and is 3-1-0 at home. 


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