MSU men's soccer starts season undefeated in first three matches for first time since 2005
Sept. 1, 2012
CONWAY, Ark. - A late second-half goal by junior Matt Bray was enough for the Missouri State men's soccer team (2-0-1) to pull away from Oral Roberts on Saturday at the University of Central Arkansas Tournament. With the 1-0 shutout, the Bears start the season undefeated in its first three matches for the first time since 2005.
Missouri State and Oral Roberts went into halftime scoreless, but the Bears held an 8-5 shot advantage over the Golden Eagles. In addition to outshooting ORU in the first half, the Bears gained a one-man advantage following a red-card on Golden Eagles' midfielder Gerardo Salas in the 28th minute.
"It was a chippy game, but when it came down to it, we persevered," said Jon Leamy following the match. "We're taking it one match at a time and looking forward to Monday's match with Lipscomb."
Coming out of the break, the Bears tightened up their defensive assignments and were successful in keeping possession throughout the final period. The Golden Eagles failed to put up a shot in the second half and totaled five for the match.
Although it took 17 shots to finally get on the board, Missouri State made it count in the 82nd minute. Taking the corner kick for the Bears, midfielder Matt Bray hooked the ball through the keeper's hands and into the corner of the net for the game-winning goal.
With storms rolling in, Bray's first career goal came just in the nick of time. After attempting to wait out the storm with a lengthy lightning delay, the game was finally called with 6:04 remaining.
Twelve different Bears registered shots on the afternoon including junior Cole Alexander (4), Jared Gain (2) and Jack Roberts (2). Sophomore goalkeeper Andrew Riggs recorded his second-consecutive shutout and has allowed just one goal on the season.
Missouri State will look to continue its early-season success on Monday at noon, playing in its first-ever meeting with Atlantic Sun Conference's Lipscomb University.