For the first time since 2009, the Oral Roberts University men's soccer team has begun its Summit League schedule 2-0 as the Golden Eagles knocked off Western Illinois, 2-0, at the Case Soccer Complex on Saturday.
ORU improved to 4-5-1 overall with the victory, while the Leathernecks dropped to 3-9-0 overall and 1-2-0 in league play. The Golden Eagles are 4-1-1 in their previous six matches. Following Saturday evenings conference slate, ORU and Denver are tied for first atop the Summit League standings.
The Golden Eagles quickly jumped out on the Leathernecks just six minutes into the match as Johnny Chavez scored his first goal of the season. He netted the goal as Marco Hernandez found him in the middle of the box with a through ball. Edgardo Mira also got credit with an assist on the goal.
It didn't take long for ORU to add its second goal. After a foul near midfield, Casey Cantor sent a free kick into the box and Hernandez did the rest, placing a header into the bottom left corner of the net.
The story of the match may have been the defensive play by the Golden Eagles. While the Leathernecks were able to get a total of 15 shots off, only two of those were on target.
However, the Golden Eagles had six opportunities shots on the goal in the match, led by Chavez with two. His second chance came midway through the second half, but WIU goalkeeper Yves Dietrich made a spectacular diving save to his left to knock the ball away.
Isaac Sandoval was called upon to start his second match in net for ORU, recording two saves to move to 2-0 on the season. Dietrich moved his record to 3-9, as he finished the match with four saves.
Up next, the Golden Eagles will have an opportunity for a season sweep over Missouri State as they travel to Springfield on Tuesday. ORU beat MSU, 1-0, on Sept. 25 at the Case Soccer Complex to snap a five-match losing streak against the Bears.