Barbero Gets Late Goal to Beat Braves and Move Streak to 12-Straight Matches
The Missouri State men's soccer team (7-5-2, 4-0-1) defeated Bradley (7-8-2, 2-3-1) on a late goal by Gerard Barbero on Saturday night at Plaster Field. The 1-0 win gives the Bears a 12-game unbeaten streak in regular season conference play.
The first half saw a back-and-forth match as both teams registered six shots in the period. But the Bears gained a bit of control in the second half, outshooting the Braves 10 to six.
In the 85th minute, the Bears drew a foul near midfield. The free kick was hit into the box where Heath Melugin headed the ball on net. Brian Billings, the Bradley keeper, made the save, but the rebound went right to Barbero, who drilled the shot into the top of the net.
Missouri State goalkeeper Alex Riggs made three saves to record his seventh shutout of the season and second of the week. His best save of the night came late in the first half when he made a diving stop on a Keith Mach shot. He has not allowed a goal to the Braves in four career matches.
"It was a very tough match tonight," said head coach Jon Leamy. "Alex (Riggs) has been very consistent lately. He comes up with big saves when we need them the most."
Junior Heath Melugin took a team-high six shots in the match. Paul Paradise added three shots.
Missouri State now heads to No. 9 Creighton on Wednesday for a 7:00 p.m. match. The Bears will return home for the regular season finale on Saturday, November 6, the "Living Our Legacy" game presented by Verizon. The match will feature active military and veterans recognition ceremonies. The event will help raise money for the Ozarks Honor Flight. The first 400 fans to the 7:00 p.m. match will receive a free t-shirt.