OMAHA, Neb. (EIU) -- The Eastern Illinois men's soccer season ended Thursday afternoon in a 1-0 loss to No. 1 Denver. The teams met in the first round of the Summit League Tournament.

Denver set an aggressive pace on the offensive end of the field taking eight first half shots to the Panthers three. Blake Elder found the back of the net for the Pioneers in the 39th minute of play scoring his second goal of the season. Jacob Stensson tallied an assist on the play.

EIU tried to rally in the second half with two shots on goal by Zach Medawattage, but the Panthers fell 0-1 to Denver ending their 2017 season play. Alessandro Corti, Christian Sosnowski, and Simeon Packer all took one shot for EIU none of which were on goal.

Elder, Andre Shinyashiki, Jacob Stensson, Ryan Barlow, and Alex Underwood all contributed to the Pioneers’ 11 shots during the match. Elder led both teams with three shots on goal. Nick Gardner made two saves between the posts for Denver earning the shutout over the Panthers.

Mike Novotny made five stops during the match for the Panthers all of which came in the first half of play. Novotny has played a dominant season for EIU in the net and was named Summit league Goalkeeper of the Year. He also collected three Player of the Week accolades this season bringing his career honors to seven POW awards. Novotny holds the NCAA season game high of saves with 16 against Western Michigan earlier this season.

Novotny has climbed the ranks in the Panthers record book for career and single-season statistics. He ranks first in all-time goalkeeper history with 5,954 career minutes played, first with 65 career games played in goal, third in career saves with 286, and seventh in career goals against average with 1.74. For a single season, Novotny ranks fourth with a save percentage of .835 and a goals against an average of .95. He also ranks fifth with 1711 minutes played and sixth with 91 saves this season.

The Panthers finished the 2017 season 4-9-6 overall and 2-2-1 in the Summit League. Denver 5-0 in the SL moves on to the Championship game Saturday afternoon to face No. 2 Western Illinois or No. 3 Omaha.

Chandler signs with EIU volleyball

CHARLESTON — Eastern Illinois volleyball and Head Coach Samantha Wolinski announced the signing of Bailey Chandler who will join the Panthers for the 2018 season. The Fairland, Indiana, native signed a national letter of intent with Eastern Illinois Wednesday afternoon.

Chandler is a 5-8 setter from Ray Basile High School. Chandler earned the honor of being named county Most Valuable Player, and county Player of the Year in 2016. This season Chandler broke the career assist record for

Ray Basile, and in 2016 broke the single season assist record. She helped lead Ray Basile to two consecutive county championships. Off the court Chandler will be graduating with academic honors, she also was a peer mentor, and was a student council representative. Chandler is a member of Team Indiana club volleyball.

EIU volleyball returns to action on Friday November 10, where they will travel to UT Martin for an OVC showdown.


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