EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. – Christian Volesky tallied two goals Saturday as SIUE men's soccer collected a 2-1 Homecoming victory over Missouri State.
An enthusiastic crowd of 2,842 at Korte Stadium celebrated as SIUE men's soccer became the first Missouri Valley Conference team with double-digit wins this season. SIUE improved to 10-4 overall and 2-1 in the MVC.
"This is a unique place to play," said SIUE Head Coach Kevin Kalish. "Soccer is very important. The players definitely feed off that intensity."
Volesky used that intensity to extend his MVC-leading goals total to eight with one goal in each half for the Cougars.
"Christian had his best performance of the year," said Kalish. "His work ethic was fantastic. His movement off the ball was consistent. He was dangerous when we played the ball behind their back four."
The Cougar sophomore from Henderson, Nev., pounced on a return ball at 27:23 in the first half to beat Missouri State goalkeeper Andrew Riggs. Volesky hit from four yards out after a shot from SIUE's Brian Groark initially was saved.
"The beginning of the game was typical for most conference games. It was very tight. Both teams had some fight in them. It usually takes a while for the game to settle down. I thought our guys played well," said Kalish. Settled down they did as the Cougars dominated possession throughout and a created a number of chances.
Missouri State, now 5-5-4 overall and 0-3 in the MVC, tallied just three shots against the Cougars. The Bears' only shot of the second half was a goal by Andrew Turner, his first of the season, off a corner kick by Parker Maher at 52:29.
SIUE's game winner came from the corner kick as well. Benny Jeffery's service at 63:26 was timed perfectly with Volesky's run to the near post. Volesky headed it past Riggs and into the goal for his first game-winning goal of the season.
The Cougars outshot Missouri State 11-3. Volesky collected seven of SIUE's shots. SIUE goalkeeper John Berner collected his eighth win of the season and saved one Missouri State shot.
"At the end of the day, conference games are about getting results. If we are going to be a successful team we need to be getting results in October and November. Our guys are showing a lot of heart and desire. We need to continue and close out the conference season," Kalish said.
Next up for SIUE is a trip to Evansville, Ind., to take on the Evansville Aces. SIUE faces Evansville, 7-4 (1-1 MVC) Wednesday in a 7 p.m. contest.