Men’s soccer team falls short to Kansas City


Hannah Fergurson

Adrian Lechuga (29), a freshman midfielder fights for possession of the ball with the University of Missouri-Kansas City Roos’ Zach Nichols (21), a freshman forward during the sixth Summit League men’s soccer game of at Lakeside Field Saturday afternoon. The Panthers lost 1-0 against the Roos.

Brian Barrett, Men's Soccer Reporter

The Eastern Illinois men’s soccer team fell to the Kansas City Roos on Saturday afternoon by the score of 1-0. Eastern now sits at 1-9-3 on the season with a 0-5-1 record in conference matches. The Panthers were in the contest all game and just came up short of what would have been their first home win of the season.

Eastern shot the ball a total of 15 times with 11 shots being on target. Kansas City’s goalie, Cooper Clark, had a strong showing with 8 saves in the contest and his second clean sheet of the season.

It took a while for both offenses to get going in this one. It was not until the 33rd minute that Kansas City’s, Christian Koffi, knocked a corner kick in for what ultimately became the deciding goal.

Throughout the game both sides were extremely aggressive so much so that 3 yellow cards were given.

After the game, head coach Josh Oakley reflected on how many away games the team has played this year.

“We [have] played away from home almost every game this year so when we get a chance to come home we’d love a tilt our way,” Oakley said. “We see it so many times when we’re away from home.”

Oakley said he continues to remind his team to stay focused even through adverse calls especially with the results of this year’s games often times not going the Panthers way.

The Panthers best opportunity on offense came in the 85th minute when Panther’s leading scorer Sam Eccles, who fired 4 of his 6 shots on target, headed a ball from a corner off of the right side of the crossbar. The Panthers got off 3 shots in the final ten minutes but were unable to capitalize.

One thing the Panthers never do is give up. Coach Oakley delve into how his team’s work ethic keeps them in games.

“In eight games this year, we’ve either led the game, or we’ve been down one [to zero] and…come back to score to make it one [to] one,” Oakley said. “Eight games out of thirteen now. Today’s the only thing keeping us from that was the woodwork.”

The Panthers will hit the road again next Wednesday against former Ohio Valley Conference foe, Belmont. The game will be played at 6:30pm in Nashville and will also be available on ESPN+.