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


This poll has ended.

Do you treat student evaluations seriously?


Sorry, there was an error loading this poll.

Loading Recent Classifieds...

EIU wins season opener against Governors State

Lesego Maloma dribbles the ball past defenders at Lakeside Field. (File)

The Panthers won their first game of the season 1-0 against the Governors State University Jaguars on Monday evening at Lakeside Field.

In the seventh minute of the game, senior forward, Sam Eccles, took the ball up the left side of the field and crossed it to senior forward Lesego Maloma, who was able to get it past the Jaguar’s goalkeeper for the first and only goal of the game.

When asked about what was going through his head when he scored, Maloma said, “For the goal, I just saw Sam collect the ball out wide. Usually when that happens, sometimes, we really struggle to get numbers into the box . . . so I just thought that I have to get into the box so that if he puts the ball in, at least I can try to get something on it.”

Even though Maloma was able to score, he had a chance early in the first minute but wasn’t able to score, which he attributes to his decision making. He said that his decision making needs to improve in the upcoming games.

Eastern didn’t attempt another shot until the 44th minute where freshman forward/midfielder Kyle Kimberling had the ball on the right side of the field and missed just left of the goal.

The Panthers only had four shots on goal throughout the entire game, two of which came from Eccles, one in the 53rd minute and the other going into the 61st minute.

Eastern was able to get many chances in on the opponent’s half of the field but couldn’t convert as many shots as they wanted to.

“We got the balls into those areas numerous times today, you saw times where it was one [versus] goalkeeper, sometimes it was two of us versus the goalkeeper,” Head Coach Joshua Oakley said. “We did not finish well.”

The defense for the Panthers collectively had a great game allowing only 3 shots on goal, and junior goalkeeper Chad Smith was able to save all of them.

“You look at our goalkeeper today, he had to make two or three saves, and not a single one of them was a real challenge for him,” Oakley said. “That’s a good day defensively, and it also proves to the guys no matter what happens, if you can keep an opponent on zero, you’ve always got a chance to do something.”

Six freshmen played in the game for Eastern, and two of those, defender Lance Somerfield and midfielder Jake McConnery, started the game for the Panthers.

“Honestly [I’m] just really proud that I can make my first actual appearance besides from exhibitions,” Somerfield said.  “I have a standard when I go out there. When I’m with the older guys, being as young as I am, I just needed to do the best that I could.”

Oakley said he was happy with the performance of the freshmen in this game, especially Somerfield.

“Lance had a good game. He was a highly touted recruit coming in; big, strong, can play at the division one level right away. That’s exactly what he proved,” said Oakley.

For their next game, Eastern plays the Bradley University Braves on Sunday at 1 p.m. at Lakeside Field.

Luther Yoder can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected].

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributor
Luther Yoder
Luther Yoder, Assistant Sports Editor
Luther Yoder is a sophomore journalism major. This is his first year at The News.

Comments (0)

Commenting on the Daily Eastern News web site is a privilege, not a right. We reserve the right to remove comments that contain obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language. Also, comments containing personal attacks or threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
All The Daily Eastern News Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest