The Eastern men’s soccer team took the field Thursday for the first time in 12 days to play second-place Omaha on the road.
The Panthers lost 2-0, falling to 0-5-2 on the season and 0-4-2 in Summit League play. They are the only team in the conference without a win this season.
The Mavericks improved to 5-1 overall and 4-1 in conference competition. They have won their last four matches.
Neither team found the back of the net in the first half, with Eastern attempting five shots and Omaha getting off seven.
The Mavericks were not held scoreless for long in the second half, though, as they scored in the 48th minute to jump ahead. Freshman forward Kenji Mboma Dem got the goal, the first of his career, with an assist from senior midfielder Nil Ayats.
The match would be quiet for the next half hour or so before Omaha struck again in the 79th minute on a goal from sophomore midfielder Tevin Rochester, his first of the season. He was assisted by junior midfielder Ed Port.
Omaha controlled the second half overall, outshooting Eastern 13-6 in the half.
For the game, Omaha had 20 shots, nine of which were on goal.
Eastern shot the ball 11 times and got it on goal three times.
For the Panthers, redshirt-junior goalkeeper Jonathan Burke recorded 7 saves, increasing his conference-leading total to 52 this season. He also leads the Summit League with an average of 7.43 saves per game.
Offensively, Eastern was led by senior forwards Shady Omar and Davi Girardi with 3 shots each. The Panthers’ shots on goal were recorded by redshirt-junior forward Reed Axthelm, redshirt-junior midfielder Cameron Behm and junior midfielder Chad Hamler.
The Panthers now have just four matches remaining this season. They will play Omaha on the road once again Saturday at noon.
They will then close out the season with three-straight home matches, hosting Denver April 1 and 3 and Western Illinois April 10 at Lakeside Field.
Adam Tumino can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]