Evansville opens league play with a tough loss on the road.
University of Evansville - UE Men's Soccer drops a tight one at Missouri State
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. - Despite several great scoring opportunities, the University of Evansville men's soccer team could not find the back of the net, as the Aces fell in their Missouri Valley Conference opener to Missouri State, 1-0, in Springfield, Missouri Saturday night. UE drops to 5-3-0 on the season, while Missouri State climbs to 5-2-1. The Bears are now 2-0 in MVC play.
"Tonight's match was a typical Valley game" said Aces head coach Marshall Ray. "It was a good game to be involved in, both teams were battling and competing for a result in conference. Unfortunately, we gave up a goal early in the second half. Came out a little flat, possibly, but credit to Missouri State. Once you go down a goal on Missouri State, it's difficult to get one back. We created a lot of chances late, kept pushing and kept fighting, but we've got to correct the issue of giving up a goal and going a goal down if we want to do the things we want to do in this conference."
After a scoreless first half, which saw them find the crossbar on several occasions, the Bears finally broke through, as sophomore midfielder set up junior forward Conor Ingram for his team leading fifth goal of the season, beating UE sophomore goalkeeper Fredrik Reimer for the eventual game-winner. Ingram's tally was the difference in a game that saw the two squads nearly match each other in every statistical category, with Missouri State holding a six to five advantage in shots on goal and both keepers logging five saves apiece.
"Defensively, I thought we played great", said Ray. "All of our outside backs were injured. Two were unavailable, one was able to play a little bit, but Fil (Johansson) probably wasn't 100 percent, so we had to change some things up a little bit with the way we played. I thought the guys adapted well, were able to create opportunities and limit the opportunities that Missouri State had. Unfortunately, tonight, we were unable to get a goal. Freddy was good in goal, got his hand close to the goal that hit the post, but unfortunately, he couldn't keep it out. So that's soccer and we're going to try get ourselves back home to Evansville and rest on Sunday and get back to work Monday and get prepared for another tough battle."
The Aces are back at home Wednesday night for another conference showdown with Bradley. Kickoff between the Aces and the Braves is at 7 pm (CT) at Arad McCutchan Stadium.