Diaz’s two goals lead Aces soccer past SIUE

Published: Sep. 18, 2022 at 1:38 AM CDT
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EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - Opening Missouri Valley Conference play, the University of Evansville men’s soccer tapped into a familiar game plan en-route to a 2-0 win over SIUE on Saturday night at Arad McCutchan Stadium in Evansville.

Sophomore forward Nacho Diaz continued his tear of a first collegiate season in the US, scoring twice in the win for his fifth and sixth goals of the season. Diaz’s six goals on the year are already the most by an Ace in a season since Ian McGrath scored 12 during the 2017 season. In goal, graduate keeper Alex Vidizzoni tallied his third-straight clean sheet and his fourth of the season, pushing his shutout streak to 307 minutes, dating back to a 53rd minute goal by IUPUI on August 28th.

Diaz proved to be much of the Aces attack on the night, not just in terms of goals, but also in opportunities. The Almeria, Spain native finished the match with six shots with five coming in the opening 45 minutes. Diaz nearly opened the scoring in the first minute, but Diaz had his close-range shot saved by the Cougars. The sophomore would eventually get the breakthrough in the 33rd minute setup by a perfect ball from senior Carlos Barcia. The long range pass over the top was chested down by senior Nkosi Graham as the ball bounced into the box and Diaz quickly slipped it left of the keeper into the back of the net.

In the second half, it was Graham and Diaz again getting in on the attack to double Evansville’s lead. Graham clipped a ball down the right side to junior Tobias Bak, who whipped a ball into the box. Lurking just behind the Cougars backline, Diaz snuck his way into the six-yard box and headed the ball past the keeper for the brace, recording multiple goals for the second time this season. The Aces defense was stifling much of the night, but especially in the final half hour of play. After SIUE recorded six shots in the opening hour of play, Evansville did not allow the Cougars to record a shot in the final 27 minutes of the match as UE earned the 2-0 win.

Evansville faces a quick turnaround as the Aces close their three-match homestand on Tuesday night against 24th-ranked Xavier at 6 PM at Arad McCutchan Stadium in Evansville.

Courtesy: UE athletics