Oct. 30, 2011
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- The Missouri State men's soccer team (7-7-2, 4-1-0 Missouri Valley Conference) came away with a 1-0 victory over SIU Edwardsville (7-7-4, 1-4-1 MVC) on Senior Night in front of one of the largest crowds on Sunday at Plaster Field. With 1,498 fans in attendance for the "Living Our Legacy" game, it was the third highest total in men's soccer program history.
"It was great to get the early goal after the spectacular pregame ceremonies," said head coach Jon Leamy. "We got off to a good early start and buckled down to get the result against a good team. Any time you get yourself in position for a championship, it's what you want. We are going to prepare for a very good Drake team on Saturday night."
SIU Edwardsville logged its first and only shot on goal of the evening at the 1:55 mark, but redshirt-sophomore keeper Trevor Spangenberg came up with the save.
Shortly thereafter, the Bears scored the night's only goal in the fourth minute of the match. Senior Heath Melugin headed a loose ball in the box to a wide open Cole Alexander. The sophomore also got a head on the ball and put it past Cougars' goalkeeper Scott Meyer for his third goal of the season. Melugin was credited with his fourth assist of the year.
Following the strike, the Bears buckled down with some stout defense and prevented SIU Edwardsville from any more shots on goal.
The Missouri State offense was limited to five shots on the night, but made its lone shot on goal count. The visiting Cougars outshot the Bears 9-5 and held a 3-1 advantage in corner kicks.
Before the game, all five of Missouri State's seniors were recognized including Gerard Barbero III, David Buckenheimer, Jordan Hoffman, Heath Melugin and Thomas Vania. The senior class combined for 292 total matches started, while David Buckenheimer led the group with 72 starts in 75 games played.
Missouri State will travel to Des Moines, Iowa to take on Drake in its regular-season finale on Saturday at 7 p.m. At 4-1 in league play, the Bears are one win away from the regular-season MVC title. Missouri State currently holds the tiebreaker over Creighton after a 1-0 win against the Bluejays on Oct. 12.
The "Living Our Legacy" game was presented by Verizon Wireless. The event was a joint venture between the Missouri State athletics department, the Missouri State entertainment management program and an MSU student organization created to stage the annual event. This year's theme for the game is "Soccer Salutes Service," honoring the efforts of law enforcement, firefighters and EMT/first responders/medical/rescue personnel. Also, $488 of the Sunday's proceeds were donated to the new Code 3 Sertoma Club.