EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. – SIUE junior Jorge Gonzalez headed home a cross from Greg Solawa in the 90th minute Friday to send the Cougars to a 1-0 win over UMKC in the regular season home opener at Korte Stadium.
SIUE is now 1-0-1 while UMKC fell to 0-2-0. The game is the first of a five-game home stand for SIUE.
"Everyone contributed," said SIUE Head Coach Mario Sanchez. "I think we played almost the entire group of guys on this hot, muggy night. I am really proud of the guys for sticking with it."
The Cougars dominated play, outshooting UMKC 15-6 for the game, including 10 shots on goal. It was the last shot that found the back of the net for Gonzalez after a near-perfect service from Solawa.
Gonzalez finished the night with five shots, including four on goal. Lachlan McLean took three shots, all of which were on frame. Solawa also had three shots and two were on goal.
"Those guys are talented," Sanchez said. "We're starting to get it. We feel like we have a couple of guys up there who know the game really well. They're hungry to score goals. We absolutely deserved the goal that we got."
SIUE's defense earned its first shutout of the year and Sanchez praised his backline.
"Those are hard games to play," he said. "It's really about focusing and I was proud of them for staying focused."
Sophomore transfer goalkeeper Noah Heim made three saves to earn his first win and shutout of his SIUE career.
After two games, Sanchez said he is pleased with what he has seen from his team.
"The result at Memphis was massive on the road to get a tie." he said. "A game like this is a little different. We played well and we had to stick with it until the end. What that tells me is that we have a good group of guys with a lot of character."
The Cougars continue the season-long swing of home games with a Friday night contest against Princeton. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.