LYNCHBURG, Va. – SIUE men's soccer retained its hold on first place in the Ohio Valley Conference and ran its unbeaten streak to 10 games with a 2-0 shut out Sunday at Liberty.

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"It was a team effort and a big road win," SIUE Head Coach Cale Wassermann said.

The Cougars are now 8-0-3 and 3-0-1 in the OVC. Liberty dropped its second in a row to fall to 7-4-0 and 2-2-0 in the league.

The win lifted the OVC's best defense in SIUE over the league's best offense in Liberty.

Mitchell Murphy picked up the brace for the Cougars, beginning with a 22-yard strike just 58 seconds into the game.

"It was a big moment and came out of us pressing," Wassermann added. "Credit to Mitchell. He picked up his head and he picked out that corner."

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The Cougars led 1-0 at halftime.

"They pushed us, and they pressed us," Wassermann said. "It took us a while to get back in our rhythm in the second half, but we managed well."

Murphy doubled the Cougars' lead 80th minute after he chased a ball into the box, where he was tripped by Liberty goalkeeper Blake Franzen to be awarded a penalty. Murphy blasted home to seal the SIUE road win.

Liberty outshot SIUE 12-9 overall and held an 8-2 advantage in shots on goal.

Sam Gomez made a career-high eight saves in posting his fifth shutout of the season.

"They had eight corners and our assistants scouted those great, but it took some brave and disciplined defending from our guys," We had some big blocks and Sam made some big saves.

SIUE's win, coupled with an Incarnate Word win Sunday sets up a first-place showdown Thursday at Korte Stadium. Both teams are tied at 3-0-1 in league play.

"We're going to ensure that we're ready," Wassermann said. "We're excited to be playing back at home."

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