The long offseason for the Eastern women’s soccer team came to an end Tuesday when the Panthers opened their season against Tennessee-Martin, falling to the Skyhawks 1-0.
The match was the first of a 10-match, conference only schedule to be played this spring.
The Panthers kept the score close despite allowing the Skyhawks to get off 19 shots in the match, 11 of which were on goal.
This was largely thanks to the play of redshirt-sophomore goalkeeper Daniela Bermeo, who set a new career-high with 9 saves in the match, allowing just one shot to get into the net in the 30th minute.
Bermeo has large shoes to fill this season, taking over in the net for Sara Teteak, who was named OVC Defensive Player of the Year last season and graduated as the program’s all-time leader in saves.
The Eastern offense recorded 5 shots Tuesday, three of which were on goal.
Sophomore forward Zenaya Barnes, who is playing her first season at Eastern after transferring, recorded 2 shots, both of which were on goal.
Sophomore midfielder Nicoletta Anuci also recorded 2 shots and freshman midfielder Cami Lummus got off 1 shot on goal.
Barnes and Lummus were two of the 10 newcomers playing their first game for Eastern Tuesday.
Six of the new players who saw action in the opener are also freshman this season.
The returning players for the Panthers who played Tuesday were Bermeo, Anuci, Pilar Barrio, Haylee Renick, Kenzie Balcerak, Itxaso Aguero and Eva Munoz.
The Panthers’ next match will be their home opener Friday against Morehead State at Lakeside Field. The match is scheduled to start at 1 p.m.
Adam Tumino can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]