Men’s Soccer Remains Unbeaten in the Last Four

By Myla Stewart

 

MACOMB, IL- Western Illinois men’s soccer gains a crucial win on the road over the St. Thomas Tommies on Saturday Oct. 22. Captain Kyle Owen went from the starting center back to the core of the Leathernecks attack in their most recent games where he has been starting at striker. Owen has scored three in the last four games for the Neck’s and has had a noticeable impact on the scoreboard.

While the first half may have been scoreless, the Leathernecks came out attacking straight from the whistle. Muazu Sagir opened the offense immediately in the second minute of the game with a shot on frame. Forcing the Tommy keeper to make a save, St. Thomas was already on their heels. WIU outshot St. Thomas 8-3 in the first half and was clearly dominating the ball on their offensive end. It wasn’t until the 63rd minute that the Neck’s would finally put away one of their chances. It was none other than Kyle Owen who stepped up to take a free kick just outside the 18 yard box. With a direct ball curving to the left of the goal, St. Thomas goalkeeper, Tucker Mann, just couldn’t quite stop the power of the kick. As the ball hit the side netting off of Owen’s curler, the Neck’s are now up 1-0 with 27 minutes left to play. There’s no doubt that St. Thomas had their chances throughout the second half, but there wasn’t one that could get past WIU goalie Alex Flowers. Flowers came up with two big saves in the final five minutes of the match; and these would be his only saves all game. 

St. Thomas found a chance off of a rebounded save by Flowers, but the referee’s said no. The goal was called offside with three minutes left in the game, and this would allow the Leathernecks to finish ahead 1-0. This win puts Western just one point behind Omaha in Summit League play, giving them a very realistic chance to make the tournament if they continue getting results. 

Western’s next matchup is conference competitor Southern Indiana who will take on the Neck’s in Evansville, Indiana on Wednesday, Oct. 26 at 6 P.M. The Eagles are currently 8th in conference and have a record of 1-11-2 overall. This is another game that Western Illinois needs to gain a result in. If the Leathernecks maintain a good defensive structure and keep finishing their opportunities, they could be up for a successful season in Summit League play. This game will be streamed on ESPN+. Kick off starts at 6 P.M. on the Eagles home turf.

 

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