29 Sep Women’s Soccer Continues OVC Play This Week
Eastern Illinois (2-5-2 / 0-0-1 OVC) at UT Martin (5-3-1, 1-0 OVC)
Thursday, September 30
7 pm at Martin, Tenn.
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Eastern Illinois vs. Murray State (5-4)
Sunday, October 3
1 pm at Lakeside Field (Charleston, Ill.)
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ON-TAP: Eastern Illinois heads into the second week of the Ohio Valley Conference schedule with the Panthers traveling to UT Martin on Thursday before hosting Murray State on Sunday. The league continues to use a Thursday/Sunday format for matches with the Panthers opening league play last Sunday at home with a 1-1 draw with Morehead State. EIU is now 2-5-2 on the season, 0-0-1 in the OVC. UT Martin won its OVC opener over Austin Peay as the Skyhawks are now 5-3-1 overall, 1-0 in the OVC. Murray State enters the week at 5-4 with their OVC opener on Thursday against Southeast Missouri before making the trip to Charleston.
OVC OPENERS: Eastern Illinois is 1-1-2 in its last four Ohio Valley Conference openers under current head coach Jake Plant. EIU played Morehead State to a 1-1 draw on Sunday afternoon to pick up a point in the OVC standings. In 2019 EIU opened the OVC season with a 0-0 draw at UT Martin. EIU’s win in the last four seasons was in 2018 over Morehead State while the Panthers lost their OVC opener to UT Martin during the spring 2021 season.
GOALS BY COMMITTEE: Jenna Little became the fifth different Panthers player to score a goal this season with her tally on Sunday against Morehead State. The Panthers have had goals by committee this season with Nicoletta Anuci the team leader with two goals after she scored a brace in the win over Illinois Springfield. Serra Pizano, Michaela Danyo and Zenaya Barnes have all scored one goal this season.
KORHORN ON THE ASSIST: Cam Korhorn became the sixth different EIU player to pick up an assist this season when she assisted on Jenna Little’s goal in the OVC opener. Korhorn joins Nicoletta Anuci, Zenaya Barnes, Michaela Danyo, Eva Munoz and Lauren Frick as Panthers with assists this season. Last year’s assist leader for EIU was Pilar Barrio with two assists.
2021 SPRING HONORS: Eastern Illinois women’s soccer won the OVC Sportsmanship Award for women’s soccer during the 2020-21 season which was played as a league-only slate of contests in the spring of 2021. It marked the second time in the last three years that the Panthers have won the award under head coach Jake Plant. In addition Itxaso Aguero was named a second team All-OVC selection for her play during the spring.
EIU PICKS UP HOME WIN: Eastern Illinois picked up its second home win of the season when the Panthers beat Chicago State 1-0. The Panthers are now 2-2 at Lakeside Field this season following last Sunday’s contest with Central Michigan. EIU posted a 2-3 record at home during the spring after going 3-3-2 at Lakeside Field during the 2019 campaign.
EIU POSTS THIRD SHUTOUT OF THE SEASON: Eastern Illinois posted its third shutout of the season with a 1-0 win over Chicago State. In the match goalkeeper Faith Davies had a clean sheet but a good bit of the credit goes to the Panthers back line as EIU did not allow CSU to attempt a shot on goal. The back line included Eva Munoz, Morgan Rinker and Sarah Hagg who all played the complete 90 minutes on the field. Mara Kades started in the back row but was replaced by Lauren Frick following an injury.
FIFTH YEAR LEADERS: Eastern Illinois had three players take advantage of the extra year of eligibility granted by the NCAA due to COVID-19 impacting the fall season in 2020. EIU returns fifth year players Itxaso Aguero, Pilar Barrio and Eva Munoz. All three players who are originally from Spain will be returning after starting matches in each of the previous four seasons.
BALCEREK LISTED AS OVC PLAYER TO WATCH: Midfielder Kenzie Balcerek was named the EIU Player to Watch in the OVC this year as she returns for her third year as a starter on the squad. Balcerek played all but six minutes on the pitch last spring finishing with one assist. As a freshman in 2019 she started the first 11 matches of the season registering one assist before a season ending injury.
THREE A MAGIC NUMBER: Eastern Illinois scored three goals during its Aug. 22 win over Illinois Springfield. It was the sixth time in the last four seasons that EIU has scored three goals in a match, the Panthers posting a 6-0 record in those contests. EIU’s last three goal match was last spring with a 3-2 win over Jacksonville State on March 30.
SERIES HISTORY: This will be the 27th meeting between Eastern Illinois and UT Martin on the pitch. UTM won the match-up in the spring between the two schools and has won two of the last four meetings between the schools with a pair of draws in the other two matches. EIU leads the all-time series 13-10-3 with the Panthers last win in 2016. EIU and Murray State will be meeting for the 25th time when the schools face off on Sunday. Murray State has won eight straight in the series and holds a 12-8-4 all-time series lead. EIU’s last win over the Racers was during the 2013 season.
NEXT UP: Following this week’s matches against UT Martin and Murray State, EIU continues the Thursday/Sunday swing with a home match on Thursday, Oct. 7 against SIUE and a road match on Sunday, Oct. 10 at Tennessee Tech.
HEAD COACH: Jake Plant enters his fourth season as the head coach of the Eastern Illinois women’s soccer team. A 2014 EIU alumnus and former member of the Panthers men’s soccer program, Plant was the assistant coach for both the men’s and women’s program for two years with one additional season as an assistant for the men’s program before being named EIU women’s head coach in 2018. Plant led EIU to a 6-8-6 record in his first season including a 4-3-3 record in OVC play. In 2019, he once again took EIU to the OVC Tournament winning a first-round match. He enters his fourth season with a record of 12-25-11 with an 8-15-7 record in OVC matches. He is a native of Birmingham, England. He is assisted by Dirk Bennett.
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