Men's Soccer Clinch Fifth MVC Regular Season Title
Nov. 2, 2013
Peoria, Ill – The Missouri State men’s soccer team (10-3-2, 5-0-0 MVC) clinched the program’s fifth Missouri Valley Conference regular season title after defeating Bradley (8-6-2, 2-2-1 MVC) 1-0 on Saturday night.
The Bears have won the MVC regular season in 1997, 1999, 2009, 2011 and now in 2013.
“Goal number one was win the regular season, but we have a long list of goals,” said redshirt senior goalkeeper Trevor Spangenberg, who logged his school-record seventh consecutive shutout.
The Missouri State defense, which was the national leader in goals against average heading into the game, once again showed the strength in the back and recorded the team’s 10th clean sheet of the season.
“Our defensive is unbelievable,” said Spangenberg. “They don’t get enough credit. They really do so much throughout the game to make my job easy.
Spangenberg finished with three saves on the night, including two last moment tip saves in the second half to prevent Bradley’s Alon Badat and Scott Davis from scoring.
“The boys did a great job tonight,” said head coach Jon Leamy, who has been at the helm of the Bears for all five regular season MVC titles. “We’ve been doing it all season. We executed a good game play, the boys defended well, and they found a way to win. That’s the mark of a very good team.”
Emmerich Hoegg scored his team high fifth goal of the season in the 38th minute of the game. The Bears earned a throw in the offensive third of the field. Instead of crowding the penalty box, Missouri State relied on the passing game that had fared well throughout most of the match. Brandon Barbero received the ball with his back to the goal. From the top of the box, he spun to make a pass to the running Hoegg inside the eighteen. Hoegg then was one-on-one with Brave’s goalkeeper Brian Billings and was able to blast it past him into the back of the net.
Hoegg’s 10 points and five game-winners are both team highs.
The Bears depended on a lot of possession, starting in the back line, and moving ahead. Strong control of the ball and precise passing allowed Missouri State to work forward to get opportunities. The Bears earned five corners on the night and finished with 10 shots.
Missouri State returns to Springfield to conclude the regular season with a game against conference foe SIU Edwardsville. The Nov. 9th game featuring the conference champs is also Senior Night and the 5th Annual Living OUR Legacy Game. A pregame tailgate with free food and music will open at 4:30, before the 7:00 regular season finale.
“We can celebrate on the drive home, but it is back to practice tomorrow,” said Spangenberg. “We want to make sure that we are ready to go when we have the opportunity to play in front of our fans one more time on Senior Night.”