Men’s soccer finished its preseason Friday in a scoreless game against University of Cincinnati, while women’s soccer lost their season opening match against the University of Kentucky 2-1.
As part of the freshman experience, new students were invited to come out to watch the men’s game.
“Here at SIUE it’s always a tradition that soccer is our welcome back game. Our homecoming is soccer … it’s one of the unique things, for me as a soccer coach, that atmosphere, to have all those freshman out there is unbelievable. I hope that the students enjoyed what they saw and they want to come back and support the team,” men’s soccer Head Coach Mario Sanchez said.
Although the men’s team left the game tied, junior defender Colin Hilpert said the team has improved since their first game against Tulsa University.
“There was a lot of growth from our first game at Tulsa. You could really see improvements among the team and with what we had been working on and kind of just that overall growth that you could see along the week,” Hilpert said.
The Cougars had many scoring opportunities and outshot Cincinnati 12-7. Junior Noah Heim and sophomore Lluis Martorell each had two saves in the goal to keep Cincinnati from scoring.
Women’s Head Coach Derek Burton was happy to see the team show up and follow through with what they’ve been working on in practice.
“We took longer than I’d like to get into the rhythm of the game, so we were chasing them a bit for the first 15 minutes, and then we settled in and I was quite pleased with the majority of the time for the rest of the game,” Burton said. “We did a lot of really positive things. I saw a lot of what we’re working on in training, so it’s nice to see a lot of those things come to reality on the field.”
In the second half of the women’s game, sophomore Andrea Frerker scored her first goal of the season with an assist from sophomore Myah Diekema. Goalkeeper sophomore Jensen Schoch had 10 saves for the night.
Burton is excited to see the women’s team develop throughout the rest of the season.
“I’m excited to see how the team continues to grow because they’re pretty young. They’re like sponges; they’re learning a lot everyday, and they have really good ability to apply things that they’re learning, so watching them grow is probably one of the most exciting parts of the season, and obviously there’s still a ways to go,” Burton said.
Men’s soccer begins their regular season 7 p.m. Friday at Memphis. The women’s team will go up against Indiana State in their home opener at 7 p.m. the same day.