EUREKA – A 21st-minute own goal held up as the match winner, James Bowen (Homer Glen, Ill./Seneca H.S.) tallied his 36th career goal in the 47th minute and Moises Aldana (Spring Valley, Ill./Hall H.S.) earned his fourth shutout of 2018, allowing the Eureka College men's soccer team to secure a 2-0 non-conference win over Lincoln Christian, Thursday night at McKinzie Field. The victory has given the Red Devils back-to-back shutout wins for the first time since September 2015.
Eureka has played 180 consecutive minutes without allowing a goal, the second-longest scoreless defensive stand in program history. The Red Devils went 259:18 without allowing a goal during a four-match stretch from Sept. 19-25, 2015, a span that included shutout victories over St. Louis Christian (6-0) and Robert Morris-Springfield (4-0).
The Red Devils are 6-6-0 through the season's first 12 matches, the second-most successful start to a season in program history behind the 2016 squad that opened the campaign 6-5-1. Eureka's six wins in 2018 are already third-most in a season in the history of the program.
Bowen's 36th EC goal puts him within six career goals of tying Brian O'Malley (2008-09) for the all-time Eureka goal record of 42.
Tim Johnson (Peoria, Ill./Notre Dame H.S.) put the wheels in motion on a sequence at 20:06 that put the Red Devils on the board, booming a free kick from 55 yards out to the LCU penalty area. A failed clearing attempt from the Red Lions' back line allowed the ball to bounce twice on the turf, strike the inside of the post and carom into the cage for an own goal and a 1-0 lead for the hosts.
Bowen provided insurance when he cleaned up a loose ball just inside the 6-yard box and deposited a header past LCU goalkeeper Michael Brand. Diego Cintora (Watseka, Ill./Watseka H.S.) triggered the play with a free kick from the left flank and Michael Hansen (Peoria, Ill./Limestone H.S.) also caught a piece of the loose ball to be credited with his eighth career assist.
Aldana stopped all three shots he faced to notch his fourth shutout of the season. His 2.35 goals-against average is on pace to be the second-lowest in single-season Eureka history.
Eureka will resume St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference play this Saturday at 2 p.m. Central Time versus Spalding in Louisville, Ky.