SIUE men’s soccer wrapped up Friday’s game with a 4-3 win against rival Evansville on their opening game of the home season on Sept. 6.
Senior forward Lachlan McLean returned as a top scorer from last season, as he scored an early point against Evansville barely two minutes into the game.
Less than three minutes later, McLean’s goal was followed up by a penalty shot by senior midfielder Jorge Gonzalez after a foul, doubling SIUE’s lead above Evansville.
Head Coach Cale Wassermann said he was happy to have such a wide lead on Evansville right at the start of the game.
“We played two really tough games this weekend and didn’t get as many chances as we would’ve liked,” Wassermann said. “It’s great for us to get off to an early lead.”
The third goal of the night was scored by new player Jacob Bilyeu, a freshman forward for SIUE who said that, despite being new, he’s excited for what working with the team will bring to him and his future.
“All around we need more talk,” Bilyeu said “We’re a great team, we just need to finish out games”.
The fourth goal was scored and the lead was widened by sophomore forward Vincent Jackson II. He managed to score a shot on goal with an assist by fellow senior midfielder Mathias Krigbaum.
SIUE wasn’t able to shutout Evansville forever, however, as shortly before the end of the first period Evansville sophomore midfielder Ryan Harris managed to make the score 4-1.
Going into the second period, Evansville came back swinging. The next two goals were scored within 15 minutes of each other by Evansville freshman Nkosi Graham and sophomore Filip Johansson, closing that gap.
Although they had a wide lead, Wassermann said that SIUE wasn’t ready to slack off or let up.
“We knew Evansville was tough, we knew they wouldn’t give up,” Wassermann said. “We wanted to try and get the fifth goal as opposed to just trying to manage the game. Credit to Evansville they did a great job of trying to come back and fighting.”
Evansville put up a fight against SIUE, but Edwardsville still took the win, 4-3. Junior goalkeeper Noah Heim contributed to that win, walking away from the game with nine saves in total.
Recently Heim was named the Mid-American Conference Player of the Week, but he said that hasn’t affected his gameplay at all.
“I got that [title] by just playing,” Heim said. “Playing with the team, playing by myself, whatever I need to do. It’s not like I tried to do anything special, [and] it’s not like once I have that I’ll try to do anything more special - I just keep playing.”
Despite having a team full of so many newer players and freshman, Wassermann said he isn’t worried in any way about the state of his team.
“We have a large senior class of 10 guys which help those young guys adjust a little,” Wassermann said. “The young guys are learning, but it’s a process.”
SIUE men’s soccer will be playing their next game against St. Louis on Friday, Sept. 13 at 7:30 at Korte Stadium.