Men's Soccer Faces Final Non-Conference Test against Memphis Tuesday
The Missouri State men's soccer team (5-5-2, 3-0-1) will cap its non-conference slate on Tuesday night as it hosts Memphis (3-9-1) for a 7:00 p.m. tilt at Plaster Field.
The Bears are coming off of a 3-0 shutout win over preseason MVC favorite Evansville last Wednesday night. Junior Gerard Barbero converted his second penalty kick in as many matches. He became the first Bear to convert a PK in back-to-back matches since Derek Phillips in 1993. The goal was his fourth of the year and the eventual game-winner.
Fellow junior Heath Melugin leads the Bears in a number of offensive categories. He scored his team-leading fifth goal of the season in the 84th minute of Wednesday's win over Evansville. He also leads the team in shots on goal (11) and is tied for the team lead in points (10) and shots taken (25). The goal was Melugin's second in as many matches against the Purple Aces as he scored the Bears lone goal in last season's MVC semifinal match against Evansville.
Senior goalkeeper Alex Riggs continued to dominate MVC opponents by racking up another shutout, 3-0, over Evansville last Wednesday and was named this week's MVC Defensive Player of the Week. The shutout was Riggs' fifth of the season and third over an MVC foe on the year. The shutout dropped his goals against average to 0.77, the best mark in the league. He also upped his save percentage to .853, another league best.
Tuesday's match will mark Memphis' first trip to Springfield since 1997, when the Tigers played in the MSU Classic. The two teams played to a 1-1 draw that day.
Missouri State will cap the current four-game home stand against conference rival Bradley on Saturday, October 30, at 7:00 p.m.