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

Eastern able to get last minute victory against Southern Indiana

Senior forward Sam Eccles (9) dribbles the ball past a defender. (Sia Deykoontz)

The Panthers pulled off another last-minute win to beat the Southern Indiana Screaming Eagles 1-0.

Eastern’s goal came going into the 87th minute when senior forward Sam Eccles took the ball to the left side of the box and sent a cross that deflected off of the Screaming Eagles goalkeeper, junior Braden Matthews. Fifth year senior defender Maxwell Allen was able to tap the ball in for a goal which was his second of the season.

“We knew we had a lot of chances going forward,” Allen said. “We knew one was bound to come in. It was the last three minutes, but it felt good that one finally went in.”

The assist for Eccles upped his season point total to 11, which leads the team.

“I’ve got a nice bounce off the Lakeside Field, the nice hard ground, its gone over the defender’s head and I’m one v. one,” Eccles said. “I try to take it round him and have a shot. I took it a little bit wide, saw Max and just put it in an area, and I don’t know what happened, how it went in, but I was just so happy that it did.”

This was also junior goalkeeper Chad Smith’s fourth shutout of the season and his third in four games. That is the most shutouts in season by a single goalkeeper since 2019 when Jonathan Burke had five.

“It’s something we haven’t done in a really long time, and to get four in one season just feels great and it’s not just me,” smith said. “It’s back four, midfielders, forwards, all 11 of us are doing a great job defensively. We’re organized, we’re set, and nothing’s gone in the back of the net in a couple games.”

This win was Assistant Coach Chris DeVito’s first win as a head coach. He had to step in for usual head coach, Josh Oakley who was not able to be at the game.

“It feels fantastic,” DeVito said. “All the guys were asking me before the game how I felt and if I was nervous, and my answer to them was ‘honestly I felt confident.’ I’m good with the group that we have. I know that we’re deep as far as we needed to go.”

Eastern was without three of their regular starters in today’s game: freshman defender Lance Somerfield, sophomore forward Casey Welage, and senior midfielder Felipe Kerr Lourenco. Somerfield and Welage were both out with injury while Lourenco got a red card in Eastern’s last game meaning that he was not able to play in this game.

“Unfortunately, we only had four subs, but at the end of the day I have a lot of confidence in our guys, a lot of confidence in what Coach [Oakley] has instilled within the team over this year,” DeVito said. “Even last year too, even though we didn’t get the results we wanted. We learned a lot of lessons on this win. I’m just fortunate enough to be the leader on the day.”

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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