EVANSTON, Ill. – Paul Scheipeter finished a rebound with his left foot for his first career goal in the 81st minute Thursday lifting SIUE to a 1-0 win over Northwestern in the first round of the NCAA tournament.
SIUE advances to a second round match up Sunday at California. Game time is slated for 3 p.m. CT.
"I can't describe (the feeling). It's unbelievable," SIUE Co-Head Coach David Korn said following the game. "Northwestern is a great opponent."
Scheipeter's goal came after a combo play from Christian Volesky and Jason Hackett that led to Hackett getting the ball in the box. After an initial shot from Hackett was denied, Scheipeter finished with his left from five yards out.
"When we had a moment late in the half, credit to Jason Hackett and Paul Scheipeter who took advantage of the moment," SIUE Co-Head Coach David Korn said. "I'm really proud of the guys."
The game was scoreless at half, with few real chances from either side during the first 45 minutes.
Despite lengthy stretches of possession, SIUE's first shot didn't come until 10 minutes left in the half when Travis Hoguet hit a hard cross on goal. Minutes later the Cougars got their second opportunity off header from Justin Bilyeu. Northwestern goalkeeper, Tyler Miller, the Big 10 Goalkeeper of the Year, made the save to keep the game scoreless. For the game, Miller made six saves for the Wildcats.
SIUE's defense held strong, backed by redshirt freshman goalkeeper Kyle Dal Santo. Dal Santo, making his first career start, was pressed into service because of an injury to senior starter Kent Kobernus. Dal Santo earned his first career shutout, making eight saves in the win.
"He's been so good in training the last two months," Korn said. "For Kyle to step in and have the performance he did tonight, and in his hometown, is awesome. He deserved it and deserved the shutout."
Northwestern's best opportunity came in the 61st minute. Following a Wildcat corner kick, the Cougars failed to clear the ball immediately. Nathan Dearth, Henry Herrill and Joey Calistri each had a shot blocked before the Cougars finally were able to clear the ball.
"Northwestern was good in the attack and I give a big credit to our guys," Korn said. "I thought, defensively tonight, we did a good job. We sacrificed our bodies at times to make sure we didn't give up a goal."
The Cougars will face California for the second time this season. The Bears defeated SIUE 2-1 on September 21 in Berkeley.
"Coach Grimes is a very good coach, one of the best in Division I soccer. They have one of the best attacking teams in the country. We're going to have to put together a better defensive performance than we did last time we were out there.