The Western Illinois men’s soccer team has gone on an absolute tear since starting with an 11-game losing streak, coming into to Saturday’s Senior Day matchup with Eastern Illinois winners of three straight games. WIU continued that run, picking up a 2-1 win against the elements and clinching a spot in the Summit League Tournament in the process. WIU also secured a tie for first in the Summit League with Oral Roberts, which sets up a potentially huge season-ending match between WIU and ORU on November 9.
As mentioned, the elements were not in either team’s favor as cold weather, wind and consistent rain threatened the game for the entire 90 minutes. For WIU to pull out a win in the fashion they did says as much about their character and willingness to fight as any win on the season. Another added element to the story was a fight in the 72nd minute that saw both a WIU and EIU player red-carded and ejected from the match, so both teams were playing with 10 men in the midst of everything else.
On the game, Ryan DeBois continued to show his mastery in front of goal, adding to his team-leading goals total of 6. DeBois has additionally scored in 5 straight games and has been as big a reason for the recent run of play as anyone else. Daisuke Otsuka was the man for the first goal of the match and has now scored in two of his last three as he looks to form a dynamic scoring punch alongside DeBois. Tim Trilk also added to his historic season as WIU goalie with another three saves to back up the powerful attack and will be key for the Leathernecks as they make a push for their first Summit League title since 2014.
WIU will look to keep this season-changing run going when they head to Indianapolis on Wednesday, October 30 for a matchup with former Summit League foe, IUPUI. That match is set for a 6 PM kick-off and it can be seen on ESPN3.