EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. – SIUE will wait one more day to find out when it plays next.
The Missouri Valley Conference season comes to a close Saturday with SIUE waiting to see if it has the No. 2 or No. 3 seed for the MVC Men's Soccer Tournament next week in Peoria. The Cougars closed out the regular season Friday night with a 2-0 loss at Duke.
"We played some quality soccer tonight, but we need to make sure to bring the correct mentality to each game. We lacked intensity and urgency to begin the match, and we paid for it by giving away a goal off a long throw," said SIUE Head Coach Kevin Kalish.
The Cougars, 12-6 overall, now are watching the outcome of Saturday's MVC game between Creighton and Evansville. If Creighton wins or ties, SIUE is the No. 2 seed and plays Friday. If Evansville wins, SIUE is the No. 3 seed and plays Wednesday against the No. 6 seed to be determined.
On Friday, Duke scored in each half to defeat the Cougars. Zach Mathers scored his second goal of the season as the Blue Devils connected on a knock down off a throw-in. Riley Wolfe and Sean Davis were awarded assists for the goal at 16:52.
Wolfe added a second assist at 83:54 when Luis Rendon collected a pass and scored from the left side of the box.
"Duke has a talented team with some outstanding players. With that said, we needed to make more of the opportunities that we created," Kalish said. "If we could have brought more commitment to win the intangible elements of the game, and brought the right mentality, it would have given us that extra 10 percent to get a result. Unfortunately, we didn't rise to that challenge tonight and were beaten by a quality Duke side."
Kent Kobernus had two saves in goal for the Cougars. James Belshaw earned the shutout and finished with three saves for the Blue Devils, now 8-7-2.
Kalish challenged his team following the result.
"Our players and team have the ability to win every match they play in if they choose to bring the level of intensity needed to win at the highest level," he said.