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SIUE Draws at Saint Louis in Bronze Boot Revival Game

Bronze Boot Captains, SIUE's Keegan McHugh and Saint Louis' Devin Boyce and Lennart Hein, courtesy of Saint Louis University Athletics
Bronze Boot Captains, SIUE's Keegan McHugh and Saint Louis' Devin Boyce and Lennart Hein, courtesy of Saint Louis University Athletics

ST. LOUIS – In the revival of one of the most storied rivalries in college soccer, SIUE played Saint Louis University to a 1-1 tie in front of 4,903 fans at SLU's Robert R. Hermann Stadium.

The meeting was the the first regular season matchup since 1995. The Billikens retained the Joseph Carenza, Sr. trophy (Bronze Boot) by virtue of the tie.

"It was amazing for our program to be part of this," SIUE Head Coach Mario Sanchez said. "We are always striving to push our program forward. We want to be a perennial top-20 team and to do that you have to play in these games. If anything it's going to motivate our guys even more. It was a fun game, and emotional game for everybody."

SIUE moved to 4-1-2, while Saint Louis is now 3-1-3

It is the second time this season, the Cougars have gone on the road in a tough environment and came away with a draw.

"We talked about getting a result," Sanchez said. "When you get into overtime you have to be mature about it. Neither team had many chances in either overtime period and that's a sign of maturity from both teams."

The SIUE defense withstood 27 total shots from the Billikens. Saint Louis put 12 shots on target. Goalkeeper Noah Heim made a season-high nine saves.

"Full credit to SLU, they put us under a lot of pressure," Sanchez said. "In every game you play, you have to find ways to keep the ball out of the net and we definitely did that tonight.

"Johan (DePicker) was out of this world tonight," Sanchez continued. "He showed what he was capable of. Jack Edwards, a true freshman from St. Louis, had a huge game."

Lachlan McLean put the Cougars on top in in the 52nd minute following an SIUE corner kick. Several players got a head to ball, including Keegan McHugh who flicked it towards the back post. The ball fell to McLean, where he tapped in for the 1-0 advantage.

The Cougar goal came just after a flurry of Saint Louis' chances was turned away. Andre Rivers-Hardware got a shot away in the 47th minute which was saved off the post by Noah Heim. The rebound came out to Anthony Brown who slid a shot past Heim. McHugh was able to make a sliding save to clear the ball off the line. Following a Billiken corner in the 49th minute, John Klein took a shot that sailed high of the target.

Saint Louis appeared to have tied the game in the 75th minute when Anthony Brown struck a header past Heim after a cross. Instead, the goal was disallowed on an offside call.

Brown ultimately netted the equalizer in the 89th minute. Heim made a leaping save after a shot from Saint Louis' Leo Noves, and the ball hit the crossbar and came out in front of the goal. Noves played it to Brown who knotted the game.

With a minute to play in regulation time, Jorge Gonzalez was taken down in the Saint Louis box and SIUE was awarded a penalty kick. McLean hit a low hard shot but SLU goalkeeper Seth Stiebel made a diving save to his left to keep the score tied 1-1.

"He had a very good game tonight," Sanchez said of McLean. "He held the ball well. We're a different team when he plays well. He brings other guys into the play and he's dangerous."

The Cougars will next return to the road for a Tuesday night game at Valparaiso.

"We have a couple of days to recover emotionally," Sanchez said. "Right now, it's not just physical but there's the emotional side to recover from. We'll get back at it and start preparing for Valpo."