Men’s soccer team uses two late goals to elevate against Eastern Illinois

Brandon Shrider and Brandon Shrider

The BG men’s soccer team scored two late goals to come away with their sixth victory of the season, defeating Eastern Illinois 3-1 Friday night at Cochrane Field .

Despite controlling the match for the majority of the first half, limiting Eastern Illinois to just one shot, the Falcons were only able to put one of their eight shots on goal. That shot late, which came late in the first half, was the only goal through the first 45 minutes.

The Falcons had plenty of first-half shots, but none of them were dangerous, head coach Eric Nichols said.

The lack of urgency was a primary concern for the Falcons as they came out for the second 45 minutes.

“Our coach talked about being patient, but still having that urgency. We got a little quiet in the first half,” senior Vlad Lekarev said.

While the Falcons looked to respond well in the second half, they conceded a goal in the first three minutes putting the game even at 1-1. This was just the third time the Falcons failed to grab a shutout on the season.

“I think one of the dangers now that we’ve won some games is to think that any of them are going to be easy,” Nichols said. “I think we were prepared for a tight game and then not to respond with a little more energy and a little bit more emotion was disappointing. You can’t just flip the switch.”

However, the Falcons were able to flip the switch against the Panthers.

With just over 11 minutes left in the game, Pat Flynn headed in the tiebreaking goal for his nation-leading eleventh of the season.

To put the game away, Flynn pushed in his second goal of the game with just 13 seconds left on the clock to give the Falcons the 3-1 victory.

“We have Pat Flynn putting things on frame and when that happens, good things happen,” Lekarev said.

“We came back and we showed some good attributes, but it definitely wasn’t our strongest performance on either side of the ball,” Nichols said. “But I think our quality shined through and that’s why we won the game.”

Despite notching the victory, the Falcons showed that more work still needs to be done.

Twenty-two shots were taken, but just seven of them were on frame. However, three of the seven shots on frame were scores for the Falcons.

Thus, the Falcons realized they must clean up their play on both sides of the ball in order to beat Michigan State in their next match at Cochrane Field on Sept. 24 at 7 p.m.

“We’ll have to clean up a lot in order to beat Michigan State next week,” Flynn said. “We can’t take a half off. We have to come out like we did against Michigan and play a full ninety minutes, and put shots on frame.”