MACOMB, Ill. — The Western Illinois Leathernecks defeated the University of Detroit Mercy Titans, 2-0, for their second win in a row. Western moves to 2-11 overall and 2-5 at home this year. Western gave UDM their eighth loss of the year and fell to 4-8-1.
The Leathernecks got off to a hot start thanks to junior Ryan Debois’ fourth goal of the year in the 14th minute. Debois’ goal was the only goal of the half, but there was plenty of action with three yellow cards in the first half. Aleks Vushaj and Mac Becker picked up their only card of the game for the Titans, while Cameron Territo picked up his first card of the game for the ‘Necks. Despite all the cards, Western carried a 1-0 lead into halftime.
The chippiness would follow into the second half, as Territo picked up his second yellow card, which disqualified him from the game in the 57th. Western played a man down the rest of the way, but that didn’t define the tenacity of the game or their fate. The Leathernecks continued to play their best defense of the year, and sophomore Enric Ferrer picked up Western’s third yellow card in the 76th minute. Six minutes later, the physicality continued with the fifth yellow card of the game, thanks to Demetri Pliakos’ first yellow card of the game and the second for the Titans. Another six minutes passed and Jake Reitzoff got the sixth and final yellow card of the game, and third for UDM. Half a minute later, junior Luke Duball iced the game for the Leathernecks, scoring his first goal of the season in the 88th minute. The Leathernecks maintained their 2-0 lead for their second straight victory.
The Leathernecks have shown signs of life this past week. Even though this wasn’t a divisional game, Western is 1-1 in Summit League play and have clicked at the right time of the year after losing their first 11 games to start their season. Western only has three more Summit League games, and their next two opponents are conference games. This Saturday, Western travels to Fort Wayne to take on the Mastodons of Purdue Fort Wayne. Fort Wayne is 3-10 this year and 0-2 in The Summit League this year. Western will look to continue their win streak for their third win of the year.