Women’s soccer team beats Murray State 2-1


File Photo | The Daily Eastern News

Eastern forward Zenaya Barnes boots the ball downfield in Eastern’s 3-0 win over Illinois Springfield Aug. 22 at Lakeside Field. Barnes had both goals in the Panthers’ 2-1 win over Murray State on Sunday.

Nick Bays, Women's Soccer Reporter

The Eastern women’s soccer team came to a 2-1 home victory over Murray State on Sunday. The win follows a loss suffered on Thursday as the Panthers now look to get back on track in conference play.

The opening ten minutes were difficult for Eastern as Murray State pushed possession deep into Eastern territory on multiple occasions, capping it off with a goal in the eighth minute to give Murray State a 1-0 lead.

However, Eastern would not take long to respond. Eastern was able to eventually get possession into the Murray State half and set up a chance for Zenaya Barnes’ first goal that was able to sneak past the keeper.

Later in the first half, Barnes was able to keep possession deep in Murray State territory and found the top right corner off an impressive turn around shot. This goal proved to be enough as it was the final goal scored by either team for the rest of the contest. Barnes was assisted by Michaela Danyo on both goals. 

In the second half, both teams traded possessions back and forth, with great passing advancing both teams dangerously close to goal on multiple occasions. Murray State’s attack consistently found space through Eastern’s defense forcing the Panthers to have to quickly recover and narrowly avoid a potential equalizer.

Eastern was able to conjure up good possessions of their own, however, and their attack moved quickly and aggressively when they were able to get out of their own half. On multiple occasions, Eastern’s passing play showed promise and creativity in either finding passes in tight spaces or attempting clever ideas that didn’t always pan out.

While Barnes may have been the star of the show offensively, Faith Davies also came to help Eastern once again today in providing 10 saves and stopping certain attacks. She even had to get acrobatic on one occasion, leaping through the air to bat away an impressive shot that could’ve tied the game up in the second half.

Defensively, there were times when good passing exposed spaces with the Eastern back line to set up quality chances. However, Eastern did do a solid job to get back in defensive positions to stop the Racers from tying the game up.

Eastern’s performance on Sunday was very important for multiple reasons. The Panthers proved they could go toe-to-toe with one of the OVC’s best offenses and win, and it also displayed the offensive creativity and talent Eastern has. The win helps get Eastern back on track in their OVC campaign as they look to go into the OVC tournament with the best record possible. 

Eastern will be back in action this Thursday, Oct, 7, as they host SIUE for a 3 p.m. clash. On Sunday, they will head to Tennessee Tech for a 1 p.m. match. The Panthers will try to pick up as many points as possible as they head into the final weeks of conference play.


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