Oct. 8, 2011
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- The Missouri State men’s soccer team (3-5-2, 0-1-0 Missouri Valley Conference) opened up league play with a 2-1 victory over Central Arkansas (1-6-1, 0-1-0 MVC), Saturday at Plaster Field to get its second win in three games.
“We played really well defensively tonight,” said associate head coach Michael Seabolt. “We talked to our team about how important transition is, from offense to defense and defense to offense, and that was the difference. We have been working hard on finishing and it is good to see things starting to come around offensively. It’s huge to get those three points. It starts with one win and now we will focus on Creighton next week.”
Senior Heath Melugin, the Bears’ leading scorer in 2010, found the back of the net for the first time this season with a goal in the 35th minute. Fellow senior Jordan Hoffman sent a cross into freshman Parker Maher who then quickly found Melugin for a sliding shot for the Bears’ first goal.
Missouri State doubled its lead in the 76th minute. Emmerich Hoegg won the ball on the left side of the box. He got past a defender on the end line and found Eric Martin at the top of the box. Martin drew a defender which freed Sean Wilkins from just outside the box. Wilkins drilled a low shot that glanced off of the post and in for his first goal of the season.
In the 86th minute, MSU was tacked with a foul that was deemed a dangerous play by officials, which resulted in an indirect kick for the UCA Bears. All 10 Missouri State players lined up in goal with redshirt-sophomore goalkeeper Trevor Spangenberg, but were unable to make the stop. Central Arkansas midfielder Elia Lois served a light pass to Ethan Miller who then put the goal into the top center of the net to bring UCA within a goal.
The Bears held off Central Arkansas for the remainder of regulation to move to 10-8-3 in MVC openers.
Defensively, MSU held Central Arkansas to seven shots on the night, allowing just one shot on goal, which came from the free kick. Missouri State outshot UCA 17-7 and had seven shots on goal.
Up next for the MSU Bears is a home match with nationally-ranked Creighton on Wednesday at 7 p.m.