MACOMB, Ill. -
The Western Illinois men's soccer team plays host to Fort Wayne on
Saturday at 1 p.m. in attempt to snap its seven-game winless streak.
Leathernecks (2-7-2, 0-1-1 Summit League) are also looking to continue
the Bulldogs' (0-11, 0-2 Summit League) losing streak, currently at 12 games dating back to 2011.
Western Illinois will then continue Summit League play on Friday (Oct. 12), traveling to take on associate conference member Eastern Illinois at 3 p.m.
A LOOK AT THE MASTODONS: Fort Wayne is currently winless at 0-11 on the season, including 0-2 in The Summit League...Corey Tom leads the team with three goals and six points...Mitch Falkenstern has a team-high two assists...Jose Rodriguez has a goal and an assist on a team-leading 16 shots...Brandon Cloutier has an 0-11 record in goal, making 50 saves for a .625 save percentage and 2.79 goals against average...The Mastodons have lost four games by one goal, dropping to Marshall (1-0), Duquesne (2-1), Loyola (1-0) and Kansas City (2-1 in overtime)...IPFW finished second in the Summit League last year with a 3-2-1 conference record, behind only the Leathernecks.
SERIES HISTORY: Western Illinois leads the all-time series, 7-2-1...Even though the Leathernecks outshot the Mastodons 16-11 last year, Fort Wayne won the contest 2-0 behind goals from then-seniors Jason Mills and Max Touloute...Current Fort Wayne keeper, Brandon Cloutier - then a freshman - had an excellent game in net, saving all eight shots he faced.
LAST TIME OUT: The Leathernecks are coming off a 2-1 loss at Drake on Wednesday...Western Illinois trailed 2-0 at halftime, but a Charlie Bales goal pulled the Leathernecks within one...Fort Wayne has dropped two straight games by a 5-1 score, first to Kentucky and most recently on last Friday to Oral Roberts.
OFFENSIVE DEFENDER: Bales, a junior defender and the reigning Summit League Defensive Player of the Year, is also an offensive threat in addition to a significant defensive presence...He leads the team in assists (two) and has totaled 14 points and 91 shots in his three-year career as a Leatherneck.
CLOSE CONTESTS: Of the Leathernecks’ seven losses, five have come by just one goal: Central Arkansas (1-0), Graceland (1-0), UIC (1-0), Northern Kentucky (1-0) and Drake (2-1).
BUILDING OFFENSE: The Leathernecks have scored in two straight games for the first time since it won two games in a row against DePaul and Valparaiso in late August and early September.
GRAND ENTRANCE: Freshman Ken Tryggestad entered his first game in the Purple & Gold in the 65th minute against Oakland and scored less than 10 minutes later...Maclean Johnson’s assist on the same play also marked his first collegiate point.
DIAPER DANDY: Austin Gochneaur leads the Leathernecks in points (5) as just a freshman, scoring a pair of goals in a 2-1 win over DePaul and adding an assist against Omaha...His shots have also been precise to date, with only one of his six shots missing his target, giving him an .833 shot on goal percentage, by far the best on the squad.
SUPER SENIOR: Senior Nathan Bruinsma is third on the team with three points on a goal and an assist...His game-tying goal against Omaha was his 12th of his career in Purple & Gold...He also recently surpassed 100 career shots, standing at 111 over his four years...He has finished either first or second on the team in goals scored each of his first three seasons.
READY TO REBOUND: The Leathernecks are 7-3-3 following a loss in the past two seasons.
INJURY RIDDLED: Just six players have stayed healthy and played in all 11 games: Bruinsma, Gochneaur, senior Aaron Appel, sophomores Mario Alvarez, Yves Dietrich and freshman Erick Bloom.