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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Women’s soccer earns sixth seeded spot in OVC Tournament

Eastern’s women’s soccer team is headed to the Ohio Valley Conference (OVC) tournament.

With a 4-8-4 overall record and a conference record of 3-4-2, the Panthers secured the sixth seed after winning their final two games of the regular season.

Eastern ended their regular season securing a win over Southern Indiana to finish the regular season with a 4-8-4 record. (File)

The team has had their difficulties all year but are now looking forward to playing in the OVC tournament.

Eastern was picked preseason to finish tenth in the conference, but the team thought they could do much more.

The Panthers did have their struggles early when playing out of conference.

They were only able to win one game during this stretch of seven games. Panthers’ Head Coach Dirk Bennett made sure to tell his team to keep on working hard as conference play is a fresh slate.

For Eastern, the struggles subsided early as they beat Southeast Missouri (SEMO) in their second game in conference play.

They then tied with Morehead State, who finished second in the conference.

After Morehead State, the season took a turn as EIU could not get into the win column in the next four games.

They were able to tie against Western Illinois to get a much-needed point in the conference.

At this point in the season, hopes were low.

Panthers’ Head Coach Dirk Bennett helped his team secure a spot in the OVC Tournament as this is his first year in the head coach position. (File)

The Panthers was picked to finish tenth in the conference, and it looked like those preseason projections might have been right. However, the team kept fighting as the season was ending.

“[There was] definitely a dip in the middle in terms of results and that’s always really difficult for a team,” said Bennett. “You know, keep chipping away and that’s really just the message. We felt the team was training well, not always translated to the games but because they’re training well and just staying consistent. Once that flip switches then hopefully no stopping us and luckily, we’re picking out the best time of the season to peak.”

After the four games stretch, the Panthers got a win over Lindenwood to clinch a spot in the conference playoffs.

Eastern was then able to beat Southern Indiana at home in the final game of the regular season to finish sixth in the conference.

“We were supposed to finish tenth in the conference, [and] we finished for fifth with the sixth seed, and that’s great,” Bennett said.

Overall, the regular season was a success for the Panthers as they were able to shock people and prove their doubters wrong.

Eastern is now looking ahead to Friday as they face SEMO at 7:00 p.m. at Edwardsville in the first round of the playoffs.

Patrick Schmitz can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected].

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Patrick Schmitz, Sports Reporter
Patrick Schmitz is a freshman sports media relations major. This is his first year at The News. 

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