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Cougars Close Out Preseason with 2-0 Win

A large crowd turned out the for SIUE's final preseason game
A large crowd turned out the for SIUE's final preseason game

EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. – SIUE men's soccer capped off a successful preseason campaign with its second straight win, a 2-0 home victory over Milwaukee in front of 2,040 at Korte Stadium.

"I was really happy with the performance," SIUE Head Coach Mario Sanchez said. "We got a lot of guys minutes. It's a great way to end the preseason."

With the fall semester at SIUE set to commence Monday, first year students began moving onto campus this week. In what has become a tradition, SIUE freshmen are treated to the men's soccer game as part of their SIUE Experience and packed the stands.

"Cougar nation came out. It was awesome," Sanchez said. "That's what it's all about here at SIUE. Thanks to the crowd and the whole Cougar nation for coming out."

Despite combining for nine first half shots, neither team found the back of the net in the first 45 minutes and the two sides went to the locker room scoreless.

Redshirt-freshman TC Hull ended the deadlock in the 68th minute for SIUE. Hull ran onto a ball from Keegan McHugh before sliding it home at the near post just past Milwaukee goalkeeper Liam Anderson.

Jason Hackett then made it 2-0 in the 86th minute with his second goal of the preseason. The ball fell to Carl Hinkson crossed the ball in from the right side. Hackett ran onto the pass and finished from six yards away.

"One thing we've shown is that we're deep," Sanchez added. "Hackett has had a great preseason.  TC came off the bench and got the goal. It's refreshing as a head coach to have a deep team. It's a deep team but also they really like each other. It's a really good environment right now."

SIUE goalkeepers Kyle Dal Santo and Joe Smith combined for the team's second straight shutout. Dal Santo made three saves in the first half, while Smith stopped five shots in the second half.

The Cougars open the regular season Friday August 28 at Bowling Green.

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