SIUE men’s soccer won with a score of 2-0 on Saturday in a slow and uncertain home game against Bowling Green State University.
The game started uneventfully, until sophomore midfielder Kelby Phillips scored SIUE’s first goal within the first half hour, with an assist from senior midfielder Jorge Gonzalez.
“It was on the counter,” Phillips said. “I saw Jorge take inline … I just kinda [hung]back, and Jorge found me in the perfect spot, and props to him because it was a beautiful ball; all I had to do was just tap it in.”
With another assist from Gonzalez, freshman midfielder Andres Delascio scored the team’s second goal almost 30 minutes into the second half.
Having assisted with both goals on Saturday, Gonzalez can be credited with a lot of the team’s success this season. He is the season point leader with 22 points, and he is leading in goals as well, with nine. However, Head Coach Cale Wassermann stresses success can be attributed to quite a few names on the team.
“[Gonzalez and Lachlan McLean] do the bulk of our scoring ... but we have guys – the unsung heroes of the team – the Jake Meiers of the world; Kelby Phillips who scored tonight; Jorgen Pettersen runs his butt off and connects all these passes so those guys can flourish,” Wassermann said. “So, it’s a selfless effort from the group.”
One of Wassermann’s “unsung heroes” is redshirt senior midfielder Carl Hinkson. When junior goalkeeper Noah Heim was out of the way from defending a previous shot, Bowling Green sophomore midfielder Charlie Maciejewski shot again on an unguarded goal. Hinkson pulled through with a team save and ensured the game’s 2-0 score. Hinkson says he’s always ready to help his friend Heim.
“Yeah, I mean, Noah’s my roommate … Whenever I get the chance to come up for him on the field I love doing that,” Hinkson said. “I’m just happy that I was there. If someone else was there they would make the play.”
While Bowling Green did not score, Wassermann said he still wasn’t ready to discount their abilities, noting their unfamiliar play style his team had to adapt to.
“I give credit to Bowling Green for pushing us back a little bit with the territory in the first half … Bowling Green plays a unique system, a different formation than we’ve seen,” Wassermann said.
Though the game ended in a clean win for SIUE, it was not easy on the team according to Wassermann. They had just come off a game against Wisconsin on Tuesday, a double overtime that ended in a tie. Wassermann cited this as a reason for the slowness at the beginning of the game.
“Our guys were a little heavy-legged,” Wassermann said. “We had to make some adjustments which kind of led to the slow start a little bit. So, that was a little unique, but I thought our guys showed some real mental toughness in the circumstances and did a great job.”
The Cougars take the field again at 6 p.m., Friday, Oct. 25, in an away game against The University of Akron.