Eagles lose a heartbreaker to Panthers


EVANSVILLE, Ind. – University of Southern Indiana Men’s Soccer lost a heartbreaker to Eastern Illinois University, 1-0, Thursday afternoon in Charleston, Illinois. The Screaming Eagles go to 1-12-3 overall and 0-6-3 in the OVC, while the Panthers are 4-8-4, 3-4-2 OVC.
With the loss, the Eagles fall out of contention for the final spot in the Ohio Valley Conference Championship. EIU and Chicago State University, which visits Houston Christian University tonight, will be playing for the final spot during Sunday’s final 2023 league matches.
The first 45 minutes of the match was a draw as both teams missed chances to get on the scoreboard. EIU led in the statistics, leading 9-5 in overall shots, 6-3 on-goal, and 4-2 in corner kicks.
USI senior goalkeeper Alec Meissner (St. Charles, Missouri), who started before leaving the game with an injury, and junior goalkeeper Braden Matthews (Princeton, Indiana) kept the Panthers off the board with four and two saves, respectively. Matthews would add two more saves in the second half and had four for the match.
In the second half, USI had its best chance to take control of the match in the 64th minute when junior midfielder Garland Hall (Evansville, Indiana) found the back of the EIU goal, but it was called back due to an Eagles’ foul in the box. Hall also was denied by the Panther defense for a second time at 80:51 in USI’s last shot on goal. 
The Panthers came away with the game-winner at 86:58, scoring on a scramble in front of the USI goal. EIU managed to stifle the USI offense in the final three minutes to seal its win. The Eagles had a 7-6 in shots advantage in the final 45 minutes, 3-1 in corners.  
USI finishes the 2023 regular season at Strassweg Field Sunday at 5 p.m. versus Lindenwood University, which starts the week 6-4-6 overall and 3-1-4 in the OVC. The Lions, who host Southern Illinois University Edwardsville tonight, were tied with Liberty University for second in the OVC at the start today’s action.
Game time for USI-Lindenwood has been changed to 5 p.m. due to USI Women’s Soccer hosting the second round of the OVC Women’s Soccer Championship at 1 p.m. Sunday.