SAN JOSE, Calif. – The SIUE men's soccer team defeated San Jose State 2-0 Sunday at Spartan Stadium, as the Cougars secured a perfect two wins in two games on their season-opening California road trip.
"I was proud of the players' approach to the game and the way they handled playing in a difficult environment," Head Coach Kevin Kalish said. "They had a very mature approach today, and they did what they needed to do to get the win."
Christian Volesky found the net in each half of play, just two days after he struck for the game winner in extra time of SIUE's season opener at Santa Clara Friday night.
The Cougars (2-0-0) outshot the Spartans (0-2-0) by a 9-8 margin, and also held a 7-1 advantage in corner kicks. SIUE goalkeeper John Berner stood tall at the back, making a game-high five saves to preserve the shutout with the help of a solid performance from the Cougars' back line.
"One of our biggest goals heading into this weekend was to get a clean sheet and we did that today," Kalish said.
SIUE got off to the perfect start, taking a 1-0 lead within the first ten minutes of play. Matt Polster played a perfectly-weighted through ball to Volesky, who raced onto the pass in between two defenders and finished past SJSU goalkeeper Emmanuel Espinosa.
Both teams created chances during the remainder of the opening period, as SIUE withstood the hosts' physical nature and direct style of play to keep the score at 1-0 going into halftime.
After the half, Volesky added a second goal in the 59th minute to double the Cougars' advantage. Sean Baumann was the provider this time, playing a pass from the midfield that Volesky latched on to before firing low past Espinosa.
"To have a successful season, winning on the road will be crucial for us given how many games we play away from home," Kalish said. "Playing the second game of a weekend trip is never easy, but our group mentality was quality today."
SIUE will head to Tulsa, Okla. for the Hurricane Classic next weekend, where they'll face SMU on Friday at 5 p.m. before taking on Tulsa on Sunday at 2:30 p.m. Both opponents were NCAA Tournament qualifiers a season ago.
"We're going to approach each game one by one, so we now need to recover and prepare properly for SMU," Kalish added. "This was a good weekend, now we're looking forward to Friday."