TULSA, Okla. – SIUE men's soccer opened its preseason slate Saturday at Tulsa. The Golden Hurricane defeated the Cougars 3-0.
SIUE Head Coach Mario Sanchez was less concerned with the result than the experience his team was able to gain.
"We were able to work 22 players into the game," Sanchez said. "Everyone was able to earn experience in a Division I game. We were able to learn a lot about our new players."
Despite a pair of first-half goals from Tulsa, Sanchez said the Cougars had some good stretches of play.
"I saw some stuff I feel good about," he said. "We had a really good start to the half and after the two goals we finished the half strong."
Tulsa added its third goal in the second half. The Cougars limited the Golden Hurricane to just four shots in the second period.
The Cougars' head coach pointed to the speed of the game as an important learning tool for SIUE which features 14 newcomers.
"There is a reason we schedule a team like this," Sanchez said. "Tulsa is a good team, which controls the tempo. It shows us what we do well, but also what we need to work on."
SIUE faced Tulsa just a few days following the start of fall practice. The Cougars now will have nearly a week before playing host to Cincinnati Friday.
"It will be nice to have that week to work on some things," Sanchez said.
The Cougars and Bearcats will kick off at 7 p.m. Friday at Korte Stadium.