PEORIA, IL (WFIE) - In a wild match in its regular season finale, the University of Evansville men’s soccer team battled to earn a 4-3 win over Bradley on Saturday night in Peoria, Ill., securing the Purple Aces a bid to the 2018 Missouri Valley Conference Championship.
"That was one heck of a battle in the Valley tonight. Both teams had to go for the result and I think that resulted in a really chaotic second half," said Aces' men's soccer head coach Marshall Ray. "I have to give a lot of credit to coach DeRose and his team and the way his boys fought this evening. They made it difficult every step of the way. I'm really proud of our guys and how they responded and now it's time to get ready for the conference tournament."
Bradley came quickly out of the gate, earning three corners and recording two shots in the first four minutes of the match. The Aces answered with a chance of their own as freshman Mathias Nors saw his shot deflect off the crossbar in the sixth minute. After Bradley tallied three more shots, it was Evansville who settled-in midway through the period. Junior Ben Weber had his shot blocked in the 23rd minute, followed by a shot on-goal by fellow junior Hunter DeWeese that was saved by the Braves minutes later. In the 29th minute, Evansville pushed ahead as junior Simon Waever crossed the ball into the box, finding freshman Logan Muck, who settled it and finished to give the Aces a 1-0 advantage. To close the half, the Braves had two more shots, but neither came on-frame as UE carried a one-goal lead to the break.