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

The Panthers hope to maintain leads against Lindenwood

Sophomore forward Bat-Od Buman-Uchral dribbles past a defender in the afternoon.

The Panthers begin conference play this Thursday against the Lindenwood University Lions at 4 p.m. at Lakeside Field.

Eastern comes into this game at 1-4-2 having lost their last two games 1-2 to Western Illinois and Detroit Mercy. Lindenwood is sitting at a record of 3-3-2 with their last game being an 8-0 win against University of Health Sciences and Pharmacy in St. Louis.

Both teams are coming off a nine-day break; both of their last games were on September 19th.

“It’s been a long break, we needed it, it’s good,” Head Coach Josh Oakley said. “I think we’re just really ironing out some decision-making things. We’ve got to be better at making decisions. That’s what games are coming down to, you’ve noticed that the last two games [we’ve lost] 2-1. We make a little bit better decisions we’re on a different end of that.”

All of Eastern’s goals except for one against Bradley came in the first half. Apart from one game against Detroit Mercy, they were the first to score.

“We’re in the lead a lot, which is great, it’s a team learning how to win,” Oakley said. “That is sometimes the hardest piece . . . it’s holding on to leads, it’s making sure that we’re in the game all 90 minutes not just a few minutes. Those things have to be stressed and there’s techniques and there’s different things you can do, so we’ve been hitting on that quite a bit.”

Going into the conference games there is more pressure to win compared to non-conference. Oakley said at the beginning of the season that his goal for the team is to play in November. Playing in November means that the team was in the top six out of eight teams in the conference.

“I think the key is for us to relax as much as we can but also understand that every game is going to be a cup final,” Oakley said. “That’s kind of cool.”

Oakley also understand that fear is a part of the game.

“I told the guys it’s okay, it’s okay to be a little afraid as long as you channel that in the right way, and it also means you’re close,” Oakley said. “If you aren’t afraid of anything, then it either means you’re stupid or you have nothing to play for and we have everything to play for and we’re getting closer and closer and closer by the day and by the game. I think it could be a powerful tool if you use it the right way.”

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

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

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