PEORIA – SIUE men's soccer conceded early and endured a weather delay of more than an hour, but fought back for a 1-1 draw at Bradley Saturday night.
SIUE moved to 4-0-2 on the year, marking the first time since returning to Division I that the Cougars have been unbeaten through the first six games in a season.
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"Bradley is lively and quick in the attack," SIUE Head Coach Cale Wasserman said. "They gave us some problems in transition, but we were able to manage well.
"It was a day trip, which isn't easy anyway, then you add the lightning delay and heavy rain," Wassermann continued. "Our guys fight until the end, and they have proven that all year."
Bradley (4-0-3) broke out on top in the sixth minute. When a long shot hit the post and came out to the middle of the box. D.J. Koulai found Kevin Mejias streaking down the middle and slid in the ball from the penalty spot.
Midway through the first half, the field was cleared due to lightning. Heavy rains followed. Bradley held the 1-0 advantage at half.
"What a goal," Wassermann said. "The goal tonight and our goal Tuesday are two of the best goals you'll see in college soccer. The finish was a great header from our right winger, who had gotten himself central."
Andres Delascio picked off a clearance near midfield and worked the ball to the right through Aaron Crabtree and Alsadiq Hasan. Delascio got the ball back and fed Ignacio Abeal Pou on the left side just outside the box. Nacho worked into the box before driving a cross into the middle, where Nic Muench was able to head home from eight yards out.
"Andres was involved in both phases to help create the goal," Wassermann added. "He was very good tonight. Nacho was subbed out in the first. Honestly, he didn't start the game well. I credit him. He could have buckled, and he didn't. He kept his chin up and took the chance to redeem himself."
For the second game in a row, SIUE matched its season high with 15 shots. The Cougars took 11 shots in the second half.
"We were a little slow in the attack before the delay," Wassermann said. "In the second half we had chance after chance and just couldn't find the second goal."
Bradley took 13 shots, including seven on goal. Sam Gomez tied his career high with six saves in the game.
SIUE returns home to close out the nonconference season Friday when it plays host to Webster.
"We learned some great lessons tonight," Wassermann said. "We did some different things, we learned about ourselves and about dealing with things out of our control."
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