The men’s soccer team continued their season turnaround with their third straight win on Saturday against Summit League opponent Purdue Fort Wayne Mastodons. After starting 0-11, the Leathernecks have won three straight with two conference wins to place themselves third in The Summit League and just three points behind first place.
The Leathernecks got the job done with a clean sheet for the second time this year. Tim Trilk shared the clean sheet after being pulled at the halfway mark of the second half for freshman keeper Seanan Main. The Canadian native continued Trilk’s strong play recording one save and keeping the Mastodon’s scoreless.
Junior Ryan Debois has hit a rhythm scoring in his fourth straight match. After being shutout of the scoring column for two years Debois has five goals, leads the team and is a spark plug off the bench that seems to have a knack for finding goals. He is third in The Summit League with five goals and is a major factor for the first three wins of the season for Western.
The Mastodons simply could not match the Leathernecks offense. They had 19 total shots for the day, but only three were on target. The Mastodons have lost seven straight now and are last in The Summit League standings. A struggling effort for the Mastodon’s allow for an easy win for the Leathernecks.
Forward Enric Ferrer, recorded the first goal of the game at the 52 minute mark. After a good pass from Daisuke Otsuka, he powered through the ball with his right foot to put it past the keeper for a score. His second goal of the year helped cement the result in this contest.
Now with only two Summit League matches left, the Leathernecks look to go above .500 in conference play to secure a post season appearance. After failing to make an appearance last year coach Eric Johnson is working hard to right the ship. Their final opponents are Eastern Illinois 4-7-2 (0-1-2) and Oral Roberts who leads all Summit League teams and has the top two forwards in the conference.
Looking toward Eastern, the Leathernecks may be favored in this one. Their final game at home will be against an in-state opponent that beat them a season ago 1-0. Now the Leathernecks have a stronger record and momentum in their favor. Eastern will have a hard time breaking the spirts of the Leathernecks but will have their chance to spoil Senior day fun.
Oral Roberts is a more daunting task for the Leathernecks. The 10-2 Golden Eagles are 3-0 in conference play and have dominated their opposition. Freshman Reed Berry leads the team with nine goals which also leads the Summit League. Second in The Summit League for that stat, is Golden Eagle Dante Brigida with eight. Not to mention they sweep the top five in the assists category. This team is the top tier in The Summit League and will be Western’s toughest opponent.
The Leathernecks look strong now but will look to keep things positive with a win against in-state rival Eastern later this week.