Men’s soccer looks ahead to IUPUI Jaguars

Bradley Piros , Sports Editor

The Western Illinois men’s soccer team (4-11) will take on the IUPUI Jaguars at 6 p.m. tonight in Indianapolis. The Leathernecks will be looking for their fifth straight win while the Jags will be trying to bounce back after a 7-1 loss against the University of Illinois at Chicago on Sunday.

Last time out for Western was Saturday when they hosted the Eastern Illinois University Panthers for Senior Day and won 2-1. That contest was the fourth straight win for Leathernecks and just so happened to clinch a spot in The Summit League Tournament.

Scoring in that game was junior forward Ryan Debois and junior midfielder Daisuke Otsuka. It was Otsuka’s third goal of the season and Debois’ sixth. The two are the team’s leading goal scorers and have combined for 25 shots on goal.

The Jaguars’ two leading goal scorers are Yan Souza with four goals and one assist and Alan Aguilar with three goals and one assist. Five other Jags have also netted a goal this year.

Western and IUPUI have battled 15 times in the past. The Leathernecks have won the past three contests, including last year back on Sept. 18 where Western got the narrow 1-0 victory. The Jags will be trying to end Western’s series win streak as well as their current four-game win streak. The series record for Western is 1-4-1 against the Jags when they are on the road and they are 1-6 while away this season.

These past four games Western’s defense has stood tall, especially late in the game against EIU. The Panthers scored shortly after Western did to cut the deficit in half and from that point on, it was all Panthers. Eastern had the Leathernecks on their heels, but they were able to pull through and get the win.

Junior Paul Kirdorf leads the defense with his one goal and two assists and has been an all-around great two-way player this season. Along with him in the defense has been senior Christian Junna and freshman Cameron Territo who have really gelled together as a group as of late.

The last main driving force behind Western’s recent success is, as always, senior goalkeeper Tim Trilk. He has started all 15 games for the Leathernecks and has only been taken out four times. He’s totaled more than 1200 minutes so far and has made 69 saves on the season. Western’s defense can always breathe a little easier knowing that they’re in good hands.

The Leathernecks will look to keep the wheels turning tonight when they take on the Jaguars at 6 p.m. Western will make their final home appearance on Nov. 4 against the Bradley Braves before finishing up on the road at Oral Roberts the following Saturday.