MACOMB, Ill. -
The Western Illinois men's soccer team continues its four-game homestand as it plays host to Oral Roberts on Saturday at 1 p.m. at John MacKenzie Alumni Field.
The Fighting Leathernecks (3-8-4, 1-2-2 Summit League) will take on the Golden Eagles (3-11, 2-3 Summit League), an affiliate member of the conference in men's soccer, in a crucial league match.
Five teams are within four points of the third and fourth spots in the conference standings, including both Western Illinois (seventh place, five points) and Oral Roberts (sixth place, six points) with two league games left to play.
Illinois will then close out Summit League play against Kansas City (Saturday, Nov. 3 at 1 p.m.) before closing out the regular season with Senior Day against Belmont (Sunday, Nov. 4 at 1 p.m.).
WHEN: Saturday, Oct. 27, 1 p.m. CST
LOCATION: Macomb, Ill.
STADIUM: John MacKenzie Alumni Field (1,000)
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Click HERE for match notes
SERIES HISTORY: Western Illinois holds an 11-8-2 advantage over Oral Roberts all-time...The teams played twice last year, with Oral Roberts winning the regular season matchup 3-2...Just eight days later, the Leathernecks topped the Golden Eagles 2-1 in the Summit League Championship...In the first game, ORU was trailing 2-1 with 20 minutes to play, but scored two straight goals, including the game-winner from Trevor Laffoon with less than a minute remaining...The roles were reversed in the second match, as WIU trailed 1-0 at halftime, but tied it on an own goal in the 55th minute and a penalty kick from then-sophomore Charlie Bales put the Leathernecks ahead for good in minute 77.
LAST TIME OUT: The Leathernecks came from behind to tie regionally-ranked Bradley 1-1 on Tuesday...Bradley took the first eight shots of the game and took a 1-0 lead, but freshman Erick Bloom scored the equalizer in the 68th minute, his first collegiate goal, on assists from seniors Aaron Appel and Hilary Esangbedo...Sophomore Mario Alvarez fired a laser towards the goal in overtime, but it ricocheted off the crossbar...Oral Roberts most recently defeated Eastern Illinois 2-1 in a Summit League match...Gerardo Salas put ORU ahead 1-0 in the 71st minute...EIU tied the game with a goal with just one second left to play to send the game into overtime, but Tom Adams scored on a Gerardo Salas assist a minute and a half into overtime to win the game.
OFFENSIVE DEFENDER: Junior defender Charlie Bales, 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 (3) and has totaled 15 points in his three-year career as a Leatherneck...He also surpassed 100 career shots in the Leathernecks’ game at IUPUI, tallying his 99th, 100th, and 101st career shots in the match.
CLOSE CONTESTS: Of the Leathernecks’ eight losses this year, 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).
FRESHMEN GALORE: After scoring in both of this season’s exhibition games, freshman Tyler Chavez finally netted his first official collegiate goal against Fort Wayne on Oct. 6...Another freshman, Austin Gochneaur, is second on the team in points with two goals and one assist...Fellow freshman Ken Tryggestad scored in his first appearance off the bench against Oakland...Other freshmen have been strong contributors, as well, including Erick Bloom (13 games, 11 starts, one goal, 20 shots), Maclean Johnson (nine games, seven starts, one assist), and Sammuel Worsley (nine games, six starts).
SUPER SENIOR: Senior Nathan Bruinsma leads the team with six points on two goals and two assists...His game-winning goal against Omaha was his 13th goal of his career in Purple & Gold...He also recently surpassed 100 career shots, standing at 121 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 7-3-5 following a loss in the past two seasons.
INJURY RIDDLED: The majority of this year’s roster has dealt with injury issues at some point this year: Only sophomore keeper Yves Dietrich has started every game, while just two other players, senior Aaron Appel and sophomore Mario Alvarez, have appeared in all 14 contests.