First-Year player turns the tide of men’s soccer game

Cougars pulled off a last-minute win, scoring a goal in the last 3 minutes of a 10 minute overtime, securing the first home win of the season. 

SIUE men’s soccer played against the U.S. Air Force on Sept. 3, at Korte Stadium. SIUE was down by two points for most of the first half, before Alex Segura, a grad student forward, scored  SIUE’s first goal of the game. 

Cale Wassermann, the head coach for men’s soccer, said the game got off to a rough start. 

“I think we were a little too conservative, which led to defending for longer spells than we would have liked, and a little too aggressive in our attacking. It was a really, really good response from our guys coming back and winning three to two,” Wassermann said. 

Alex Segura sunk the ball into the back right of the net, right around the 40 min mark. Segura is new to the team this year, having arrived in the U.S. from Spain only a few months ago. He said it felt great to score throughout the game and to be a help to the team.

“[To] score was great and not just for me, for all the team,” Segura said. 

Wassermann said it was important that Segura played throughout the game as it helped boost both his and his teammate’s confidence. Segura who has not played much in SIUE’s first two games was up to the challenge against the Air Force. 

“[F]or a first-year player to come in and [make] two huge goals for us was a really big, really big boost you know, and a really big confidence booster for him, but also just helped us with the game,” Wassermann said. 

In the second half of the game, SIUE gained another goal approximately 49 minutes into the game. Max Broughton, a redshirt defender, scored the goal, unassisted.

SIUE Cougars maintained an aggressive offense against the Falcons, as both teams were tied at the end of the second half. The Cougars were able to narrowly defeat the Falcons with a last-minute goal in overtime.

Steven Bibas, a junior midfielder, returns to the team this year after a rough year with an injury. He said teamwork and changing the energy on the field can turn a game around. 

“I think the players that came off the bench kind of gave us a spark and a bit of energy and went crashing into a couple of tackles, myself included, and I think the energy kind of shifted and we were able to come back and tie the game,” Bibas said. 

The Cougars held their own and scored their third goal with less than three minutes left in overtime. Segura also scored this goal to secure a Cougar win. Bibas said Segura played a vital role in the win.

“He's an extremely skilled player and very smart on the ball, very technical, and he's going to help us along the way and score some really timely goals and just be a really good offensive player for us all year long,” Bibas said. 

SIUE will be playing against St. Louis University at 7 p.m. tonight in St. Louis.

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