EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. – SIUE men's soccer remained unbeaten on the season, picking up a 1-0 victory over Princeton Friday at Korte Stadium.
The win was the second in a row for the Cougars, who improved to 2-0-1 on the year. Princeton, playing its first game of the season, is now 0-1.
"This was a great test for us," SIUE Head Coach Mario Sanchez said. "Full credit to Princeton they came out as we thought they would, fighting and battling."
Joergen Pettersen netted his first goal as a Cougar with a free kick just over two minutes into the second half. The kick came from the left side not more than 30 yards from goal. Pettersen hit a curling ball which bounced in the six-yard box before slipping past Princeton goalkeeper Jacob Schachner.
"I thought the first half was up and down," Sanchez said. "To come out the way we did in the second half was really positive."
SIUE had a chance to make it 2-0 in the 62nd minute when the Cougars were awarded a penalty kick. Keegan McHugh took a low hard shot, but Schachner made a diving save to his left to keep the score at 1-0.
The Cougar defense earned its second straight shutout, as did goalkeeper Noah Heim.
"To hang on and shut the game down the last 10 minutes very effectively was great to see," Sanchez added. "Last year we gave up too many goals, especially late and now already we have two shutouts on the season. I thought Noah Heim made some good, key decision for us in the goal."
SIUE also continued to showcase its depth. Sanchez and the staff used 10 substitutions throughout the game.
"(Depth) is going to be a strength of ours so we're going to use it," Sanchez said. "Sometimes as a player that's hard. Guys deserve to play and they're training well so we have to reward them. Tonight with the heat, humidity and Princeton coming at us it was very effective to have our bench."
The Cougars outshot Princeton 12-5, marking the second straight game SIUE has outshot its opponent.
SIUE now has a week off before welcoming Wisconsin (Friday) and Grand Canyon (Sunday) to Edwardsville.
"Those are two teams that are big and very athletic," Sanchez remarked. "It will be a great weekend for us."