Recap of last season for Panthers

The+Eastern+men%E2%80%99s+soccer+team+celebrates+a+goal+from+forward+Maxwell+Allen+%2815%29+in+the+Panthers%E2%80%99+2-2+tie+against+Kansas+City+March+6.+The+match+was+one+of+two+ties+in+conference+play+for+the+Panthers+last+season.+

File Photo | The Daily Eastern News

The Eastern men’s soccer team celebrates a goal from forward Maxwell Allen (15) in the Panthers’ 2-2 tie against Kansas City March 6. The match was one of two ties in conference play for the Panthers last season.

Adam Tumino, Sports Editor

Exhibition season is over for the Eastern men’s soccer team and the regular season is drawing near.

The Panthers are set to open the season on the road Aug. 27 against Xavier on the road with the home opener against Milwaukee to take place Aug. 30 at Lakeside Field. 

The Panthers are coming off a shortened season in the spring after the fall 2020 season was pushed back. 

A 1-7-2 conference record put the Panthers in last place in the Summit League, with a single non-conference loss coming against Bradley. 

Several Eastern players did appear at or near the top of several Summit League leaderboards last season, most notably goalkeeper Jonathan Burke.

Back this season as a graduate student, Burke faced more shots than any other goalkeeper in the conference last season. 

As a result of the high volume of shots against him, he allowed the second-most goals in the Summit League. But his save percentage of .802 was near the top, ranking third in the conference just 0.003 points behind the leader, Miles Motakef of Oral Roberts. 

Burke’s average of 6.90 saves per game was nearly two saves higher than the next-closest goalkeeper, and his 69 saves were to most in the Summit League by a margin of 17. 

Offensively, forward Reed Axthelm was tied for seventh in the conference with his team-leading three goals. Three of Axthelm’s teammates, Alejandro Lurbe, Shady Omar and Maxwell Allen, were tied behind him with two goals apiece. 

With 10 goals on the season, Eastern did not have the fewest goals in the conference. That distinction belonged to Western Illinois with nine goals. 

While the entire Leathernecks’ team scored nine goals, Omaha’s Hugo Kametani reached that mark on his own, leading the conference in goals by three. 

With Kametani leading the way, Omaha led the Summit League with 20 goals last season, but was tied for third place in the standings with 16 conference points. 

Leading the way with 19 conference points was Oral Roberts. 

The standings will feature a new team this season, as St. Thomas made a jump from Division III to become the 10th institution to join the Summit League. 

Summit League teams begin regular season matches later this week with conference play scheduled to begin Sept. 25.

 

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