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Cougars Fall to No. 14 Creighton in Exhibition Opener

Devyn Jambga
Devyn Jambga

OMAHA, Neb. – SIUE men's soccer opened the exhibition season with a close 2-1 defeat Saturday on the road against No. 14 Creighton at Morrison Stadium.

"Overall we played well," SIUE Head Coach Mario Sanchez said. "We were very good at the start of the first half."

Following a scoreless first half it was the Cougars who struck first. Senior Devyn Jambga netted the game's first goal on a shot from just six yards out in the 69th minute. Freshman Nathan Cheung was credited with the assist.

"We were happy with our defense," Sanchez added. "We created some opportunities off our defense."

Creighton senior Ricky Lopez-Espin scored the first of two goals just over two minutes later to tie the game. Loez-Espin grabbed the game-winner with just nine seconds to play on a free kick.

"Of course you don't want to give up a late goal," Sanchez said. "We have plenty to work on and we're still learning, especially with the number of new players we have."

Sanchez said the game presented a good opportunity to start the season for SIUE, which returns home to continue exhibition play with Northwestern.

"It shows our ability to compete on the level with a nationally-ranked team," he said. "It's good to see where we're at and where we need to be. We purposefully scheduled this way with a full week before Northwestern."

The Cougars and Wildcats will kick off at 7 p.m. Friday at Korte Stadium.