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Cougars Capture Missouri Valley Title; Head to NCAA Tournament

Cougars Capture Missouri Valley Title; Head to NCAA Tournament

PEORIA, Ill. – Jabari Danzy's header in the 108th minute of play Sunday vaulted SIUE men's soccer back into the NCAA Division I tournament. The Cougars defeated Missouri State 1-0 in double overtime to capture the program's first Missouri Valley Conference championship.

"It's an incredible feeling," It's one that I don't deserve credit for. It's our 26 players that have done an incredible job."

Danzy, who also scored the game-winning goal in Friday's semifinal against Bradley was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player.

"Right now I don't have much to say, I'm just really excited," Danzy said. "I honestly thought the ball went over the net so I just kind of laid there upset until everyone started jumping on me."

SIUE controlled the possession throughout much of the game and finished with a 17-9 edge in shots. The Cougars outshot the Bears 3-2 in two overtime periods.

Kent Kobernus posted his fifth shutout of the season and eighth of his career. His seven saves were the second most in a game for the senior this season.

Kobernus, and defenders Justin Bilyeu and Matt Polster joined Danzy on the All-Tournament team.

"If not for our previous head coaches, Coach Kalish and Coach Donnelly, I don't know that we'd be in this position," Korn added.

SIUE returns to the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2007 when it appeared as a Division II program. The Cougars made 10 consecutive Division I tournament appearances from 1973 to 1982. SIUE won the Division I National Championship in 1979 and was a national semifinalist in 1982.

"We've been close on a number of occasions," Korn added. "Since we turned Division I we've deserved to be in the NCAA tournament. We probably got snubbed two years ago and I know these players have been motivated by that."

SIUE will learn its fate along with 47other schools Monday at 12 p.m. when the NCAA reveals the bracket. Fans can watch the live stream at NCAA.com.

 

 
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