EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. – SIUE men's soccer made it a successful home opener Friday night with a 3-0 triumph over DePaul.
Both teams had to wait out severe thunderstorms at Korte Stadium which resulted in a 2 hour, 40-minute delay before play got underway. It was SIUE, which improved to 4-1, that overcame the adversity best with its third shutout of the season.
"I think obviously when you have inclement weather like that you have to adjust and prepare accordingly. I think our guys were ready to play. The first half was a little tight. Overall, I am happy with the performance," said SIUE Head Coach Kevin Kalish.
SIUE goalkeeper John Berner picked up the win with four saves, including a pair of point-blank saves in the second half.
"I haven't seen too many better than him to be honest," said Kalish. "He's really coming into his own -- playing with a lot of confidence."
The offense in the game was all SIUE, which outshot the Blue Demons 13-6. SIUE spread out its offense as no Cougar player had more than two shots. DePaul dropped to 1-3 for the season.
Aaron Lantz scored the eventual game winner at 37:39 with his first goal of the season on a blistering shot from 25 yards out. Benny Jeffery started the play 40 yards out after a DePaul foul and served the ball into the box. Peter Kelly's header came back toward midfield where Lantz sprinted to it and laced the ball past DePaul goalkeeper Eric Sorby's left side.
"That was a big one from Aaron," Kalish said. "Aaron has had a great year so far. He's a big player for us. To score that goal late in the half when the game was up for grabs, that was a big moment for us."
SIUE gained more opportunities in the second half and shut down DePaul's offense at the same time.
Kevin Stoll helped SIUE put the game out of reach just 1:29 into the second half with his second goal of the season. Stoll split a pair of defenders and connected from 16 yards out. Jared Tejada released Stoll with a perfectly-timed through ball for the goal. Lantz also picked up an assist on the play.
"It's obviously important for the guys to play on their home field. The crowd would have been a fantastic crowd if it wasn't for the weather," Kalish said.
SIUE next returns to Korte Stadium Sunday for a 1 p.m. contest with UMKC.
"It will be another tough game. UMKC is always a good team. (Coach) Rick (Benben) does a great job with that program. They'll be ready to play. It's about our mindset and our approach. We have to make sure we're ready to go," Kalish said.