Panthers go 0-1-1 in weekend matches


Adam Tumino | The Daily Eastern News

Eastern sophomore forward Serra Pizano (left) battles an Indiana State player for possession in a match on Aug. 19 at Lakeside Field. Pizano recorded a shot in the match, which Eastern lost 3-1.

Nick Bays, Women's Soccer Reporter

The Eastern women’s soccer team came to a 0-0 draw on Friday against Purdue Fort Wayne before losing 5-0 against Wisconsin on Sunday. However, while the results weren’t the wins Eastern was looking for, head coach Jake Plant said he saw both games as valuable learning opportunities for the team.

“It was two rough trips, which we knew they would be,” Plant said. “They were two different challenges, and we learned a lot about ourselves.”

Eastern’s offensive output was not as prolific over the two matches as it was in previous contests. Against Purdue Fort Wayne, the team had seven shots, with three on goal. Against a tough Big Ten opponent in Wisconsin, the Panthers managed just 1 shot, which was not on goal. 

This contrasts with earlier performances this year. Eastern have nine shots in their season opener against Indiana State, including a goal from forward Zenaya Barnes. The Panthers lost the match 3-1.

They then had fifteen shots in their second match against Illinois Springfield, which included two goals from Nicoletta Anuci and a goal from Michaela Danyo in a 3-0 win over the Prairie Stars. 

The match against Illinois Springfield was the first career shutout for goalkeeper Faith Davies, who then got another clean sheet against Purdue Fort Wayne with a career-high 10 saves.

Regardless of the shot output, though, Plant said he still found positive aspects from the team’s performances.

“Friday, we saw how well the team can fight and grind out a shut out in the road which is great. Sunday, we matched up against a top 25 opponent and they really showed us and exposed a few things.”

Earlier this season, Plant emphasized he wanted the team to develop, and he kept that mindset regarding this previous weekend. 

“The mindset is to grow, and this week, we will be back to work as a group and be ready for the weekend,” he said.

This week, Eastern plays Chicago State on Friday at home and will travel to play Cincinnati on Sunday. These teams have opposite offensive production that Eastern will want to keep in mind when preparing for their matches.

Chicago State has averaged only 5.5 shots per game this season with only one goal so far. However, their shot on goal percentage is at 63.6 percent. While they may not put on an offensive barrage, they have been sending in accurate shots towards the goal when they get the chance.

For Cincinnati, they are a stark contrast offensively to Chicago State. So far, their shot on goal percentage is only 29.8 percent. This is also a team, though, that averages over eleven shots a game. Not to mention, they have five goals on the season, one more than Eastern so far.


Nick Bays can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].