By Rob Mortell/Staff Reporter
The first Summit League match for Eastern’s men’s soccer team ended in a tough 3-0 loss.
Head coach Adam Howarth called the Panthers performance disappointing.
“We struggled as a group and did not finish our chances,” Howarth said. “(Western) is a good team, but we did not play well.”
Eastern fell behind early when Western’s Torrance Brown scored from five yards out in the 12th minute.
Western would extend the lead as the first half was winding down.
Husref Jupic brought the lead to 2-0 with a goal just in front of the net. Mario Alvarez ended scoring for the game in the 63rd minute.
The loss drops the Panthers record to 4-5-1 overall and 0-1-1 in conference play. Western improves to 5-4-1 overall and 1-0-0 in the Summit League.
Howarth said the team normally doesn’t change how they play when they get behind early in a match.
“We have been behind before, but yesterday we struggled to get back on track,” Howarth said. “It was not for a lack of chances.”
The Panthers out-shot Western 14-13. Nine of the Panthers’ 14 shots came in the first half.
Only four of Eastern’s 14 shots were on target, but Western goalkeeper Andy Ryan managed to stop them all.
Freshman midfielder Jake Brillhart led the team with three shots. Freshmen forward Will Butler fired two shots on goal; however, he was unable to score his third goal of the season.
Howarth said the Panthers need to finish the opportunities presented to them if they are going to win matches.
“I would be more worried if we were being out shot by a lot and not creating chances,” Howarth said. “That is not the case but we do need to step up as a group.”
The Panthers return to action Friday against conference rival Oral Roberts.
“It is one game and it was an off day,” Howarth said. “We must work hard this week in training and get better each day.”
Rob Mortell can be reached at 581-7944 or at email@example.com