EUREKA – The Eureka men's soccer team opened the 2021 spring season on Tuesday and fell to Principia 7-1 at McKinzie Field.
Diego Cintora (Watseka, Ill./Watseka) scored the Red Devils' lone goal late in the first half on a penalty kick after an EC counter that ended with a handball inside the Principia 16.
The rest of the match was played in the midfield and in the Eureka's defending third. The Panthers racked up 35 shots and put 17 on frame.
Principia's Walter Lazo finished with a hat trick and two assists. Cole Heinbaugh, Eg Pierce, Gastuvavs Balukake and Patrick Sherman all found the back of the net as well.
The Panthers struck three times in the first 30 minutes of play before Cintora put Eureka on the board for the first time this season in the 39th minute.
The Red Devils trailed 3-1 at halftime. They held off Principia for the first 10 minutes of the second half, but then the Panthers connected on three in a 10-minute span. Balukake added the final goal in the 78th minute.
Eureka freshman goalkeeper Bryer Beadles (Mattoon, Ill./Mattoon) finished with 10 saves in his Red Devil debut in net.
The Red Devils (0-1, 0-1 SLIAC) will next host SLIAC preseason No. 1 Iowa Wesleyan on Saturday at 5 p.m. The Tigers open their season against Fontbonne at Wednesday at 1 p.m.