EIU Men Lose Tough 1-0 Match


Published on October 3 2016 5:15 pm
Last Updated on October 3 2016 5:15 pm
Written by Greg Sapp

The Eastern Illinois men's soccer team had a tremendous defensive effort against No. 8 Denver Saturday afternoon, but the Pioneers managed to earn a 1-0 victory after an early rebound shot. With the loss EIU drops to 2-7-1 overall and 0-2-0 in the Summit League while Denver remains undefeated with a 9-0-2 record and 2-0-0 in the conference.

The Saturday afternoon match was moved to the western practice fields due to a rain-soaked Lakeside Field, but that did not seem to phase either team as the match began.

Alex Castaneda raced out of the gates for EIU providing the Panthers best chance of the game in the third minute. Castaneda managed to get the ball deep into the Denver penalty area firing off a shot from a very tough angle near the end-line. The ball rolled across the front of the net and eventually out of play. 

That would prove to be the only shot of the match for the Panthers as Denver calmed down and started to show why they are ranked among the nation's top-10.

The deciding goal for the Pioneers came in the 26th minute as DU's Blake Elder sent a cross into the box to find the head of Alex Underwood in the seven-yard box. Underwood's shot floated just over the finger tips of starting goalkeeper Mike Novotny but only managed to bounce off the cross bar. The ball fell back out into the penalty area right to the feet of Denver's Ryan Schaefer who managed to slot the ball home to put the Pioneers up 1-0.

The rest of the match was a defensive showdown between the two teams as EIU held Denver at bay despite the Pioneers pushing for an extra goal. On the other side of the field Denver managed to quell the Panther attack holding them without a shot following Castaneda's third minute near-goal.

Denver out shot EIU 11-1 throughout the match led by Andre Shinyashiki who recorded three shots, two on goal.

Novotny managed three saves throughout the match to bring his season total to 22.

The Panthers now head back out on the road, starting a four-match road trip at Missouri State this Wednesday (Oct. 5) at 7 p.m. on ESPN 3.