CHARLESTON, Ill. - The Western Illinois men's soccer scored two goals in a game for the first time in more than a month, defeating Eastern Illinois 2-1 in a Summit League contest at Lakeside Field on Friday evening.
With the victory, the Leathernecks snap an eight-game winless streak and improve to 3-7-3 on the year and 1-1-2 in The Summit League, while the Panthers fall to 2-11 and 0-4 in the conference.
Western Illinois scored first for just the third time in 2012 (3-0 in those games), when junior Charlie Bales found sophomore Mario Alvarez in front of the goal, who scored his second goal of the season in the 57th minute. Bales' assist was his third of the year, most on the team.
Just over 15 minutes later, the Leathernecks pushed the lead to 2-0. Senior Nathan Bruinsma put in a header from five yards out on a cross from junior Drew Edmond. Bruinsma's goal was his second of the year and 13th of his career, while Edmond's assist was his first of 2012.
Eastern Illinois responded with a Jake Brillhart goal from short range in the 82nd minute, assisted by Will Butler.
Sophomore keeper Yves Dietrich made four saves in goal to earn the win and move to 3-7-3.
"We got very good performances from all 13 guys that played and scored two very good goals," head coach Dr. Eric Johnson said. "[It was] a step in the right direction."
The win was the Leathernecks' first since a 1-0 victory over Valparaiso on Sept. 2, and also marked the first time scoring two goals in a game since defeating DePaul 2-1 on Aug. 29.
Bruinsma and freshman Maclean Johnson each had four shots and two shots on goal for Western Illinois, while no player had more than two shots for the Panthers.
EIU held a slight advantage in shots (15-13), but the Leathernecks led in shots on goal (7-5). Corner kicks (6-6) and fouls (11-11) were both even.
Western Illinois now sits in fourth place in The Summit League with five points, though the six other league teams will play their fourth conference game tomorrow.
The Leathernecks will have eight days off before traveling to IUPUI on Saturday, Oct. 20 to continue conference play. Following that contest, Western returns home for four straight contests at John MacKenzie Alumni Field to close out the regular season.