EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. – The Bronze Boot returns to Edwardsville.
This Friday, for the first time since 1994, Saint Louis and SIUE will face off in a regular season men's soccer game at Korte Stadium. The teams will be playing for the Joseph Carenza Sr. Perpetual Trophy, also known as the Bronze Boot.
Game time is 7:30 p.m. and fans are encouraged to purchase tickets online in advance to avoid long lines at the gate. Tickets are $8/$5 and alumni reception tickets, including VIP access with food, drink and a cash bar are available for $25.
While the series between the Billikens and Cougars began in the 1960s, it wasn't until the 1971 game, at SLU, that the teams played for the Bronze Boot. In 1972, the series shifted to Busch Stadium II in downtown St. Louis, where it was played annually before moving back to campus sites in 1986.
In the 1970s, the Billikens and Cougars were two of the most prominent programs in collegiate soccer, routinely making the NCAA Tournament field. Three of the Billikens' 10 NCAA championships came during the 1970s, while SIUE captured the 1979 national title.
Soccer fans came out in droves for the Bronze Boot matchups. In fact, the largest crowd in NCAA history was a Bronze Boot affair, when 22,512 saw the Billikens and Cougars play at Busch Stadium on Oct. 30, 1980. The game drew 20,112 in 1973, which at the time was an NCAA record.
The series lasted until the late 1990s before NCAA scheduling regulations brought an end to the regular-season competition. SIUE's recent move to the NCAA Division I level has allowed for the resumption of the regular-season series. Last season's game ended in a 1-1 tie at SLU. Saint Louis owns a 21-5-2 lead in the Bronze Boot.