The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

Men’s soccer loses to Southern Indiana in home opener


Yari Tapia

Number 17 Lesego Maloma, a junior forward, races Southern Indiana players to the ball during the home soccer game at Lakeside Field Saturday afternoon. Maloma had 3 shots on goal and played for 80 minutes. The Panthers lost 3-2 against Southern Indiana.

Kate Stevens, Assistant Sports Editor

As the Eastern men’s soccer team started attacking early in Saturday afternoon’s home opener at Lakeside Field, Southern Indiana was able to shut the Panthers down 3-2 by scoring two goals in the last 15 minutes of the match.

EIU’s early level of attack led to 10 total shots in the first half. Junior forward Sam Eccles was first to score about 17 minutes into the game.

USI was able to answer Eccles’ goal by slipping the ball in after EIU’s goalkeeper was at the top of the box and unable to clear the ball after a USI shot attempt. This came just five minutes after EIU’s goal.

The score remained tied 1-1 going into the half.

Number 9, Sam Eccles rushes towards the ball after a failed shot on goal during the home soccer game at Lakeside Field Saturday afternoon. Eccles went 3-for-4 with shots on goal and scored 2 points. The Panthers lost 3-2 against Southern Indiana. (Hannah Fergurson)

Things were looking good for EIU as they scored once again with 18 minutes remaining. Eccles scored off a header as he was assisted by senior forward Max Allen.

It was the first time in his career at EIU where Eccles scored two goals in a match. When asked about how he felt about the two goals in one game, his face lit up.

“Just excitement. I just love scoring; I love that feeling. Especially twice, just pure adrenaline,” Eccles said.

After that, the game fell began to apart defensively for EIU as USI was able to score twice within 25 seconds as there was about 10 minutes remaining in the match.

Eccles said losing concentration surrounding those goals is what caused them to give up the match.

“I thought we were unlucky not to get at least a draw. We played well through the middle-third; attacked well. Just a few lapses in concentration cost us the game,” he said.

Both EIU and USI played a tough, physical, and aggressive game as there were 14 total fouls between each team, as well as five yellow cards.

Coach Josh Oakley was proud of how his team played but the end result was frustrating for him and his team.

“We had the game where we wanted it. We played some good stuff today; we’re proud. I’m proud of the way the guys are growing. And today showcased some things at home, we moved the ball well,” Oakley said. “Got some chances, we created more chances. We made some good objectives. But at the end of the day, we don’t get anything out of it. So, it’s frustrating.”

Oakley also said the most disappointing thing about the game was the quality of goals EIU gave up.

“The disappointing things are the goals we let in. Not just because they were goals because they were the way we let them in. They were just very, very soft goals,” Oakley said. “The biggest disappointment is the quality, the lack of quality, of goals we gave up.”

Oakley said both the coach and players have responsibilities when it comes to the way games are played. He is proud of his team for taking strategies from practice to the game. He said after this game he and his team are going to get their minds right and keep things up during their training sessions as they go back on the road to play Lindenwood on Wednesday.

“We did a really good job of addressing the things we did in training, which is awesome because it shows they’re coachable,” Oakley said. “We trained middle-third stuff, and I thought we were the better team coming out. No question. There’s obviously other things that have to be worked on.”

Kate Stevens can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]

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