The Southern Illinois University Edwardsville men’s soccer team suffered a closely-contested 2-0 defeat at Bradley Wednesday night in Missouri Valley Conference play.
“It’s a frustrating and disappointing result,” Head Coach Kevin Kalish said. “There’s no sugar coating it. We know all road games in the MVC are going to be difficult. This game could have gone either way, but they found their moment and we didn’t. Give credit to Bradley.”
The Braves ( 2-0-1 MVC, 8-4-2 overall) scored a pair of second-half goals to seal the victory, with Wojciech Wojcik giving the hosts the lead in the 71st minute. Christian Okeke added a second tally in the 90th minute.
SIUE (1-2-0 MVC, 5-7-2 overall) tied Bradley in the shots category at 12-12, and got three saves from John Berner in goal.
The Cougars created several chances early, with Christian Volesky and Austin Ledbetter both forcing Braves goalkeeper Brian Billings into saves in the game’s opening minutes. SIUE finished with three shots on goal.
“We did a lot of things well tonight,” Head Coach Kevin Kalish said. “We put ourselves in a good position in the first half dictating the run of play and creating many chances, but we were unable to finish. That ultimately was the major difference in the match.”
After the game went to halftime at 0-0, the teams continued trading chances before Wojcik provided the breakthrough for Bradley with less than 20 minutes remaining in regulation.
Okeke then doubled the hosts’ advantages with under a minute left to hand Bradley its third consecutive victory.
“They rely on restarts, and they punished us on the second phase of a restart after a deflection on the first goal,” Kalish said. “From that point, we needed to take some chances to try and find the equalizer, which left us a bit exposed on the second goal in the last minute.”
The Cougars return home for a 7 p.m. match against MVC foe Loyola at Korte Stadium Saturday night. “We now need to move on and focus our energies on Loyola,” Kalish added.