Jabari Danzy’s goal with three minutes remaining in the second overtime period lifted the Southern Illinois University Edwardsville men’s soccer team to a 1-0 victory over Missouri State in the Cougars’ regular season finale Saturday night.
“Our team showed tremendous character throughout the match tonight,” Head Coach Kevin Kalish said. “This is a positive result on the road and it’s good to see us peaking at the right time of the year.”
The sophomore from Park Forest, Ill., scored his first goal in an SIUE uniform when he corralled a pass from Gabe Christianson and struck a 20-yard effort that beat MSU goalkeeper Trevor Spangenberg at the far post.
SIUE (7-8-2, 3-3-0 MVC) outshot the Bears by a 7-5 margin, and didn’t allow the hosts to record a shot on goal all game. Goalkeeper John Berner helped the Cougars to victory by posting his sixth shutout of the season.
The Cougars handed Missouri State (10-4-2, 5-1-0 MVC) its first conference loss of the season, and Danzy’s goal was the first goal scored on the Bears since Sept. 29.
In a game that featured the MVC’s two best defenses statistically, SIUE controlled the flow of the game for large stretches of the match and created several quality chances against a very direct approach from their opponents.
Christian Volesky and Andrew Kendall-Moullin each forced saves from Spangenberg during regulation, and the Cougars increased their pressure and grip on the game as the contest wore on.
But Danzy provided the decisive blow deep into overtime in the 107th minute. Christianson played a lofted ball that found Danzy just in front of MSU’s back four. He took one touch to control, before curling the ball inside the far post from 20 yards to secure the win for SIUE.
The Cougars will now prepare for the MVC Tournament in Peoria, Ill., next week, where SIUE will face Loyola on Wednesday in the quarterfinals. Game time is scheduled for 3 p.m.
“We feel we are a battle-tested group and comfortable with whatever comes our way heading into the conference tournament,” Kalish added. “We’ll now recover and prepare for our first round game Wednesday. I feel we’ll be ready.”