TULSA, Okla. - On Friday, the Oral Roberts men's soccer team has a great opportunity to earn its first conference victory of the season as they face winless Fort Wayne in Indiana.
The Golden Eagles will remain in Indiana until Sunday as they prepare for a non-conference match against Evansville.
The Mastodons of Fort Wayne enter the Summit League showdown after dropping their first 10 matches of the season, losing the conference opener last Saturday evening to Kansas City, 2-1. On Tuesday evening, the Mastodon defense struggled, dropping a home match to Kentucky, 5-1.
ORU (1-7, 0-1) also enters the match looking to get some momentum going into conference play after dropping the last two matches to Denver and Oakland, respectively.
Offense has been a struggled for Mastodons early in the season, scoring just five goals, second worse in the conference. Just as it is with the Golden Eagles, youth dominates the Mastodon roster with freshman Corey Tom leading the way with three of the five IPFW goals, two of which came in the UMKC and Kentucky matches.
Brandon Cloutier has seen the most action in goal for IPFW, recording 46 of the 52 total saves for the Mastodons. Fellow sophomore Will Brown has also seen some time between the posts.
The Golden Eagles are 2-1-2 against the Mastodons in the past five seasons, with the lone loss coming last season at the Case Soccer Complex on the ORU campus, 3-1. Sid Stewart picked up the Golden Eagle goal in the 2011 loss.
Coach Steve Hayes' programs lead the overall record against IPFW, 3-1-2.
Much like IPFW, Evansville enters the match against the Golden Eagles following a loss at home to Kentucky, 2-0. The Purple Aces have an overall record of 4-3, but has dropped their last three against the Wildcats, Butler and Saint Louis.
Two of the Purple Ace victories came against common opponents of the Golden Eagles, topping both Belmont and Lipscomb to open the season by identical scores, 2-1. ORU came up short in each of their contests against the two opponents at the Lipscomb Invitational two weekends ago.
Despite a losing record, Evansville opponents are outscoring them 13 goals to 10, including nine in the three consecutive losses. Senior Jesse Sharp and freshman Nate Opperman enter the weekend as the only Purple Aces multiple goals, each netting two apiece.
ORU and Evansville have faced off since the 2007 season and the Purple Aces lead the all-time series, 1-2.
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