MILWAUKEE, Wis. – SIUE men's soccer closed the spring portion of its schedule Sunday with a 2-2 draw against Milwaukee at Engelmann Stadium.
On a cold and windy day, the Cougars found themselves with a 2-0 deficit headed into halftime after a slow start. Despite the deficit and the added challenge of losing redshirt freshman Brett Lane to a red card midway through the second half, SIUE responded with two goals after the break to pull even.
Christian Volesky tallied the first goal early in the half off an assist from Joe Sales and also got the second, despite the Cougars playing a man down, from a Ben Sauerwein pass. With chances to score a third, and a strong second-half performance, SIUE Head Coach Kevin Kalish was proud of the come-from-behind effort.
"The players showed tremendous resilience and character to come back from two goals down and a man down to get a result from the match," Kalish said.
"The second half performance says a lot about the mentality within this team," Kalish added. "Our backs were against the wall after the first half, and we responded. That is extremely valuable. It shows that if we approach each game in the right way, and put in the work, good things will happen. It was a positive way to end the spring for our group."
With the 2013 spring schedule now complete, the Cougars look to turn the spring season's lessons into positive results next fall.
"We progressed as a team in many ways since we started training in January," said Kalish. "There were some positive individual performances throughout the spring in which players demonstrated they are ready to compete and maintain the high standard that we have in this program."
The Cougars will unveil a young but talented group when preseason training begins in August. Kalish said he wants the group to show the progress they have achieved during this spring.
"Overall, the staff was proud of the body of work and commitment of the players throughout the spring. Like any young team, we lacked consistency at times – there were halves of soccer where we showed the type of performance that is expected – the key now is hitting that standard each time out. That is part of the process. We are extremely excited to begin the fall season and believe our new additions for the season will add to the talent level and fit in well within our culture," Kalish said.
"Our goal is to continue to compete every year for NCAA Tournament berths and conference championships," he added. "The players know the standard, and with the right preparation, we have a group that can seize that opportunity."