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


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Eastern falls to Bradley University in first loss of the season

Julian Smith dribbles between Bradley University defenders at Lakeside Field on Sunday afternoon. (Luther Yoder)

The Panthers lost their first game of the season 2-1 to the Bradley University Braves on Sunday afternoon at Lakeside Field.

The Panthers’ only goal came in the 87th minute when sophomore midfielder Adrian Lechuga took a shot outside the 18-yard box and was able to get it past the goalkeeper.

“Just coming into the last ten I was just trying to make the most impact I could, and I got the ball in a little bit of space,” Lechuga said. “I’ve been working on those shots in practice, so I just thought why not let one go. Fortunately, it went our way.”

It proved to be too little too late as the Panthers were not able to make up for the goals scored by the Braves in the 31st and 35th minutes.

“It’s just you turn off for a few seconds and there it is,” said junior defender Trey Gora. “And then we had to crawl back to it and it’s tough to crawl back from 2-0.”

The Panthers took seven shots and only had two on goal which Head Coach Josh Oakley said the team needs to get better at doing.

“We got to be better in transition, we got to be better at populating that box,” said Oakley. “We got wide play; we went around them on the wide end . . . but you put your head up and there was one guy in the box. Crosses usually equal goals, but you got to have people on the other end of the cross.”

Senior midfielder Julian Smith also agrees with Oakley’s sentiment saying that the reason the team lost was because they didn’t finish their chances.

Ball control was something Oakley stressed before the game, and he said that it wasn’t great in this game and keeping the ball away from Bradley around the halfway line didn’t help because the Braves are great in transition.

Being great in transition helped Bradley get 13 shots, five on goal. Both of Bradley’s goals happened because they were able to take the ball away from Eastern and get good looks because of good passes.

One of many freshmen contributors to the team, forward/midfielder Kyle Kimberling, had a good game in his first start for Eastern.

“I thought he was really, really good down on the right flank, did a lot of good things, the only thing with Kyle is just that [his] confidence needs to grow a little bit . . . but he played overall a good game,” said Oakley.

Eastern is now 1-1 on the season while Bradley improves to 3-0-1. The Panthers’ next game is against the IUPUI Jaguars at Lakeside Field on Tuesday at 4 p.m.

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

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

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