Season Preview: Mountaineer Men’s Soccer

LA GRANDE, Ore.- Eastern Oregon University Men’s Soccer returns to the pitch for the 2023 season looking to continue its steady improvement under fourth-year head coach, Jessy Watson. The Mountaineers took another step forward last year putting together their first winning season since 2018.

EOU finished with a 9-8-2 record in 2022, going 6-6-1 in conference play. The campaign ended with a close 2-3 loss to Oregon Tech in the CCC Quarterfinals. Last year’s CCC Tournament appearance marked EOU’s first time in the playoffs since 2019.

Eastern returns two All-CCC members from a season ago in midfielder Carlos Murillo who was named Honorable Mention All-CCC scoring four goals in the 2022 season. The other being Daniel Kropf who in his Freshman season was also named Honorable Mention All-CCC as a Midfielder for the Mounties. The pair of midfielders will lead the way combined with some backend help from Farris Ceranic and Davis Magee while forward Marcos Bravo is expected to make strides offensively.

The Mounties will bring a different look to the pitch in 2023 after signing nine transfers and five freshmen. Eastern will need some of these new faces to step into key roles after the loss of several key players such as former All-CCC recognized players Max RoseErick Diaz, and Dalton Mauzay. Some of these key newcomers include freshman Carlos Rodriguez who joins the Mounties as a forward, transfer Tawanda Rice who joins Eastern after spending time at Chemeketa Community College, and Goalkeeper Eric Canela who joins the Mountaineers as a transfer from Fresno City College. 

The Mounties will play 18 regular season games in 2023 beginning with a non-conference matchup at home against NCAA Division II opponent Northwest Nazarene University on Aug. 19. After starting the season at home the Mounties will pack their bags and hit the road traveling to Arizona for three games to take on Ottawa University on Aug. 31, Embry Riddle University on Sept. 2 and Arizona Christian University on Sept. 4. Eastern will then return home to take on Bethesda University on Sept. 9 to wrap up their preseason. 

Eastern will kick off conference play in Washington with matchups against Northwest University on Sept. 15 and The Evergreen State College on Sept. 16. The Mountaineers then start a three game homestead that includes matchups against Rocky Mountain College on Sept. 22, Oregon Tech on Spet. 29, and Southern Oregon University on Sept. 30. It is then back on the road for a three game stretch as Eastern will take on Carroll College on Oct. 6, The University of Providence on Oct. 7, then The College of Idaho on Oct. 13. Eastern’s final home games of the 2023 season will include matchups against Bushnell University on Oct. 20 and Corban University on Oct. 21 before finishing out CCC play on the road against Warner Pacific University on Oct. 27 and Multnomah University on Oct. 28. 

The CCC Championships will be held in Springfield, Ore. on Nov. 6-10. 

For more updates on Mountie Soccer and EOU Athletics visit throughout the year and follow @EOUAthletics on all social media platforms.

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