The SIUE women’s soccer team improved its record to 4-1 this weekend after beating Saint Louis University 1-0 Friday night and Indiana State 1-0 Sunday. The win against the Sycamores was the Cougars’ fourth in a row.
Coach Derek Burton said he enjoys when the team can get shutout victories. He expects the team to get clean sheets based on past performances.
Burton said close victories, like the ones over the weekend, show the team’s strength.
“Neither one of the wins this weekend were easy in any way, shape or form. With 1-0 games, there is a lot of pressure that we stood up to and I think our team showed a lot of resiliency,” Burton said.
On Friday at SLU, freshman forward Kayla Delgado scored the only goal of the night in the 1st minute of the game with an assist coming from sophomore midfielder Marissa Delgado. The Cougars had seven shots on goal and 10 total.
On Sunday at Korte Stadium, senior midfielder Chelsea Smith scored the game-winning goal in the 19th minute of play. Senior midfielder Hope Jones sent a cross into the box that bounced a few times before finding the foot of Smith, who blasted the ball into the back of the net, giving Jones an assist and the Cougars the lead.
While the Cougars, who took nine shots to ISU’s three, dominated the first half of the game, the Sycamores controlled the second half of play. In the second half, ISU took 12 shots and controlled the possession, forcing the Cougars’ defense to bear down. Sophomore goalkeeper Jennifer Pelley and her defense were up to the task.
Within the first five minutes of the second half, Pelley was challenged with a shot that was headed to the upper right corner of the goal, but made a diving save to prevent a goal. Pelley also had a save midway through the second half when an ISU player took a long shot that caught her off guard.
Pelley had eight saves in the half and nine total for her fourth shutout of the season. She said the defense has worked well together to get the clean sheets.
“Our organization, with marks, has been a lot better. We have been stepping as a unit to support our offense so that we can hold the ball up there and it’s not on our end the whole time,” Pelley said.
The women’s next game is at 5:30 p.m. Friday at Korte Stadium.