Eastern men’s soccer team opens season

Adam Tumino, Editor-in-Chief

For the first time since early November 2019, the Eastern men’s soccer team took the field in competition.

The Panthers faced Bradley on the road Wednesday night, falling to the Braves 3-2. It was the only non-conference game of the season for Eastern.

Neither team got much going offensively in the first half, with Eastern failing to record a shot on goal and Bradley recording four.

The second half was much more active with three goals being scored in a six-minute span, two by Bradley and one by Eastern.

Each team added one more, with the Braves scoring in the 79th minute and Eastern scoring in the 82nd minute.

It was the first game at Eastern for head coach Ronnie Bouemboue, and several new faces on the field also contributed to the game.

Two players for the Panthers appearing in their first college games made an impact. Freshman Julian Smith recorded his first collegiate goal in the 69th minute to put the Panthers on the scoreboard.

Redshirt-sophomore goalkeeper Mac VanOudt played 63 minutes in the net and recorded 6 saves without allowing in his first action at Eastern.

Returning players also contributed to Eastern’s production, with senior Shady Omar scoring his first goal of the season in the 82nd minute to get the Panthers within one score.

The assists for Eastern came from a pair of community-college transfers playing their first game for Eastern.

Midfielder Gorka Delgado assisted on Lewis’ goal and forward Reed Axthelm set up Omar’s goal.

Bradley’s goals came courtesy of Rasmus Smidtslund, Malte Winkler and Patrick Fishburne. Assists were provided by Jack Armitage, Saadiq Mohammed and Winkler.

Eastern takes the field again Feb. 12 against Western Illinois on the road to begin Summit League play. 


Adam Tumino can be reached at 581-2812 [email protected]