This archived article was written by: Nico Schapochnik
Defeating the No. 16 team in the nation, two consecutive games, last weekend was total vindication for the Eagles’ men’s soccer team, after tying a game and losing a game the week before in Nevada.
Over the weekend of Sept. 8-9, the men’s soccer team traveled to Las Vegas, Nev. to begin conference games against the College of Southern Nevada this past weekend.
The first game went into double overtime and ended in a 2-2 tie. The Eagles played a good game, and could have easily taken the victory in this game, but could not get it done. Sophomore and captain, Austin Munhoz finished the game with 13 saves, while Frank Debry and Omar Suarez scored the two goals for Eastern.
On the second day, the Eagles, despite controlling the flow of the game and scoring a point in the first half, freshman Jojea Kwizera gave up two goals, with the last one allowed in the last 10 minutes of the game.
The team didn’t start conference how they wanted, and this past weekend they had the opportunity to prove everybody how good the team is. They did so by defeating the 16th nationally-ranked team, the Salt Lake Community College Bruins.
In rainy weather, and on a soggy field, the Eagles took on the Bruins on Sept. 15. Eastern played solid soccer and dominated the game with an impressive 5-2 win.
Five players scored for the Eagles: sophomores Xavier Smith and Jae Patridge opened the board for Eastern, and in the second half, freshmen Matt Clark, Jojea Kwizera and Luke Madsen left their marks. Goalkeeper Austin Munhoz was brilliant again, every time the team needed him, he stepped up to the challenge, finishing the game with 12 saves.
Saturday, Sept. 16 saw nice weather, and the game looked completely different. The Eagles scored early at the 15-minute mark, on a goal by Clark. After that, SLCC tried everything in its arsenal to find the back of the net. They pressured the entire game, but Eastern’s defense lead by captain Paul Zorkan held tight, keeping the Bruins with a zero on the scoreboard.
As expected, Munhoz was incredible in goal He defended a penalty kick in the beginning of the game, that if the Bruins scored on, would completely change the story of the game.
Munhoz said, “I feel like we played pretty good. We can do better for sure, but this is only the beginning. We do have big games that are crucial to win. This next week is going to be hard, but i think we got this as long the team continues to work together.”
With these two wins, the Eagles move into second place in the Scenic West Athletic Conference standings. If they move up to first place, they will have the advantage to hold the SWAC tournament in Price.
This week, the team will have a break from the conference schedule and play two difficult games. They travel to Colorado to challenge Trinidad State Junior College on Thursday, Sept 21., and Otero Junior College on Saturday, Sept 23.