Seniors Star in Overtime Triumph
EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. – Jared Tejada scored his third game-winning goal of the season, this time in overtime, as SIUE men's soccer defeated Drake 2-1 Saturday at Korte Stadium.
Tejada, one of nine SIUE seniors honored before the game, received a long pass from fellow senior Aaron Lantz at midfield and moved to the right of the goal away from two defenders and then buried a shot in the left side of the net past Drake goalkeeper Rich Gallagher.
"Those two goals have to be up there for goal of the year. Both of them were tremendous in different ways-the combination play on the first goal with the first-class finish. Jared's goal in the first overtime was a great individual effort. He showed great composure," said SIUE Head Coach Kevin Kalish.
Tejada was named the MVC Offensive Player of the Week in the first week of the season when he scored game winners against Virginia Tech and James Madison.
SIUE improved to 11-5 for the season. The win marked the most in a single season for Kalish and the most in SIUE's most recent Division I run.
Drake dropped to 4-10-3 overall and 1-2-1 in the MVC. The Cougars improved to 3-2 in the Missouri Valley Conference.
"I give these guys credit. They have responded every time we have asked them to respond. They're mentally tough and resilient," said Kalish.
SIUE, which finished the regular season 7-1 at home, celebrated Senior Night and the 1982 NCAA Tournament semifinalist during the game so Saturday's finish was a fitting ending for the Cougars.
"We have always performed well at the Ralph. It's a unique place to play. Our players feed off the environment. The surface is quality, and we're able to play our style of soccer. Overall to go 7-1 at home is a fantastic accomplishment for this group," said Kalish.
SIUE goalkeeper John Berner collected his ninth win of the season and finished with five saves. Gallagher took the loss and had eight saves for the Bulldogs.
Shots also went the way of the Cougars. SIUE recorded a 21-12 advantage, including the only two shots in the overtime period.
Drake tied the game at 54:07 when Addison Eck scored from 16 yards out off a pass from Bryan Jantsch.
SIUE now has one week to prepare for its final MVC contest of the regular season. The Cougars travel to Central Arkansas for a 7 p.m. contest in Conway, Ark.
"I am just happy to have a little time to let our guys recover. What you saw tonight was a very fatigued team. Playing five games in 15 days is not conducive to quality soccer. It is in some ways survival of the fittest," said Kalish. "For them to gut that win out shows the overall character of the group."