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Favorite EIU sports moment – The Daily Eastern News

The Sports Staff share their favorite memories in Eastern athletics in the 2023-2024 academic school year.

 

Zaria Flippin (Head Sports Editor): Football shutting down Indiana State to start the season

I would say one of, if not the best memory from Eastern athletics this year would be the football team winning their first game of the season against Indiana State University, completely shutting them down 27-0.

For me, the setting and the storyline behind it practically made this one of my favorite memories.

For starters, this was the first time I saw, now redshirt senior quarterback Pierce Holley, play for the Panthers, and after his performance in the first game, I was impressed and already excited to see him play more.

This game had so many amazing highlights from not just our offense but from our defense.

How many times can you say you saw two interceptions that were less than one minute apart of each other?

Tyris Harvey and NiJhay Burt both recorded an interception and ran the ball into the end zone to help the Panthers obtain a 18-0 lead into halftime.

After Burt scored the 67-yard touchdown, I knew the win was going to the Panthers, and who doesn’t love a good firework show after a dominant win?

 

Luther Yoder (Assistant Sports Editor): Men’s soccer scoring two goals in 10 minutes to win

My favorite moment from this year was when the men’s soccer team scored two goals, one in the 82nd minute and one in the 87th minute, to beat Lindenwood University 2-1.

One reason is that I was watching the game and was able to see how the crowd and the team reacted to the second goal being scored.

Lindenwood had scored in the 25th minute and it didn’t seem like Eastern was going to be able to win until the 82nd minute when they scored the goal. Eastern being able to score that second goal made it a much better game and moment.

The goal is also the reason why Eastern was even able to make it to the Ohio Valley Conference tournament. Had they tied they would have gotten three points instead of one. At the end of the season, they secured the last seed in the OVC tournament by one point.

 

Chloe Proffitt (Sports Reporter): Cross country sweeping the OVC championship

The most special memory for me this year was cross country sweeping the field, winning on both the men’s and women’s side with coach Erin Howarth winning OVC Coach of the Year.

The feeling was electric. Watching the race, I was in awe of all my teammates and all the incredible hard work that went into the championship.

Once our fifth girl crossed the line, it was pretty much clear the girls had won.

To me this is the most meaningful memory, leaving a lasting impact on me. It was incredibly special because I know how much hard work was put into the championship, and I got to be a part of all the hard work.

The early morning workouts and hundreds of summer miles had led up to this point.

The men won for the fourth consecutive year with 56 points and the women won back to back championships with 42 points.

The excitement was like no other.

 

Cameron Thomas (Sports Reporter): Volleyball winning the OVC

My favorite moment from this year was the volleyball team winning the OVC in the regular season.

One reason it was my favorite moment is because I covered the game and saw all the players and staff being happy and seeing all their hard work pay off. It was a moment I was glad to be in attendance for.

Another reason it was my favorite moment is because up until that season, I had never attended a volleyball or watched one and it made me realize how exciting watching volleyball could be from the different defensive and offensive strategies.

Volleyball winning the regular season conference championship was a good starting point for me since I was just starting to get into the sport.

 

Payton Liggins (Sports Reporter): Men’s basketball’s final home game

My favorite sports memory is men’s basketball versus Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville.

It was the last home regular season game, and that game was exhilarating to watch.

The first time Eastern played SIUE, the Panthers lost 58-67, so this game was redemption and another chance to clinch their spot at the OVC tournament, which hasn’t been done since the 2019-2020 season.

I was working at this game, so I enjoyed the game more than I would. Eastern picked up the win 84-79, and during this game, senior guard Tiger Booker scored his career high of 33 points that night.

Both teams were playing well, but then toward the end of the second half, SIUE started fouling Eastern a ton.; it was ridiculous.

Eastern was already in the bonus, so the last few times, junior guard Jaylin Gibson just casually walked over to the free throw line.

At the moment that was hilarious because I’ve never seen our team get fouled so many times like that.

Overall, it was a great game, and it was nice seeing Booker set a new career high for points.

 

Gabe Newman (Sports Reporter): Maxwell Allen’s game winning goal versus USI

My favorite sports moment from this year has to be Maxwell Allen’s game winning goal against the University of Southern Indiana for the men’s soccer team.

That game was pretty much a win-and-into the OVC tournament scenario for both teams, and Allen’s goal broke the scoreless deadlock with under three minutes to go in the game.

I had the pleasure of commentating that game, so I got to see firsthand just what it meant to the entire team to win that game and punch their ticket to the tournament.

They had to battle so much adversity throughout the season, and I felt proud on their behalf when they accomplished their goal to clinch a spot in the OVC tournament.

 

Patrick Schmitz: (Sports Reporter): MJ Flowers’ breakout game

My favorite moment from the past year is from Eastern football and when they beat McNeese State University.

McNeese was up 28-7 in the second quarter when redshirt sophomore MJ Flowers got unleashed. Flowers was able to explode for 272 yards rushing on the day.

This was also one of the first games where he played the entire game. He was able to lead the Panthers to an extraordinary comeback.

This was the game where fans started to believe in the Panthers. Flowers was able to show how good he really was, and the rest was history for the football team. 

 

The Sports Staff can be reached at 581-2812 or at (email protected).