August 26, 2012
Leathernecks fall to Central Arkansas
MACOMB, Ill. - Despite another strong offensive performance, Western Illinois was once again unable to score a goal, falling 1-0 to Central Arkansas in a non-conference game at John MacKenzie Alumni Field on Saturday.
The Leathernecks were unable to overcome the rainy conditions and stingy defense and fall to 0-2, while the Bears match their 2011 win total by improving to 2-0, after finishing 2-12-4 last year.
"I think we're getting better. The energy was good and we created real good chances, but you have to finish to win," Western Illinois head coach Dr. Eric Johnson said. "[We were] a little bit unlucky today, as well as on Friday, but that's part of soccer."
Sophomore goalkeeper Yves Dietrich led a tough Leatherneck defense that faced 19 shots and nine shots on goal, as he made eight saves despite taking the loss. Patxi Shortsleeve made four saves in the shutout for Central Arkansas.
Western Illinois had the momentum early in the game, taking six shots in the first 18 minutes, several of them good looks.
Seconds later, though, a Western Illinois defender attempted to clear a Central Arkansas pass, but instead it bounced over Dietrich's head and into the goal.
The game started to get physical early in the second half, with a yellow card assessed to each team in the first six minutes. The Bears received a red card in the 69th minute, but the Leathernecks were unable to take advantage of Central Arkansas being a man down before a Western Illinois red card in the 87th minute evened it at 10 on 10.
The Bears had a slight advantage in shots, 19-18, while the Leathernecks had the edge in corner kicks, 7-6.
"We have to find a way to win and keep battling and stay patient," Johnson added. "It's not how you start, it's how you finish."
Western Illinois will be on the road for the next five games, beginning with a trip to DePaul for a noon game on Wednesday.