Men’s soccer to face EIU at home, last game before MAC play

By Marcel Carrasco

DeKALB –  Coming off a difficult 5-0 loss Saturday against Saint Mary’s College – California, the men’s soccer team has a chance to regroup 6 p.m. Tuesday when it faces Eastern Illinois University in front of a home crowd at the Soccer and Track and Field Complex in DeKalb.

Roughly 220 miles and a lot of corn separate DeKalb from Charleston, equating to a 3 hour drive or so for the Panthers. As an in-state opponent, Eastern Illinois will have a slight advantage when it comes to fan support.

The Huskies are currently 2-1-1 at home and have yet to score more than two goals in a home match this season. Aside from the loss to Saint Mary’s, the Huskies have conceded only two goals at home.

The Panthers are 1-3-1 on the road this season, scoring twice and conceding seven times. EIU is 1-1 against in-state opponents when playing away. The Panthers beat Bradley University 1-0 on Sept. 13 before losing 1-0 Sept. 15 against Northwestern University.

NIU has scored 13 goals in 11 games this season, making a 1.18 goals per game average. Through 11 games last season, NIU tallied 18 goals and reached 13 goals in eight games, including six goals at home.

NIU and EIU have faced each other four times in the last five years. The Huskies hold the record lead with 3-1. NIU has scored eight goals in the four games and has limited the Panthers to three goals. The last time the teams met in DeKalb, EIU squeezed out a 1-0 victory, which was the first of five straight losses for NIU from Oct. 11 to Oct. 28, 2017.

Last year’s game ended in a 2-0 win for NIU. Sophomores forward Nick Markanich and defender Anthony Markanich scored the goals for NIU. Both players are set to feature in this year’s game. Nick has four goals and one assist coming into Tuesday’s match, while Anthony  has scored twice and assisted on two goals.

The Huskies are currently 2-3 against in-state opponents and will have a chance to level their record against EIU before a last in-state opponent match against Southern Illinois University – Edwardsville Saturday at home.