EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. – SIUE men's soccer endured several weather-related delays Friday to emerge with its first win of the season after defeating Cal State Northridge 1-0 at Korte Stadium.
The Cougars improved to 1-1-2 and are unbeaten at home this season (1-0-2). CSUN fell to 2-2 with the loss.
After an hour delay prior to start time because of lightning in the area, teams were forced off the field after 20 minutes in the first half because of lighting again. Near the end of halftime a campus-wide power outage forced another delay.
"Being a 'West coast guy' I haven't experienced too many games like that," SIUE Head Coach Mario Sanchezsaid.
The lone goal of the night came in the fifth minute after a Cal State Northridge foul in the box a penalty kick was awarded. Senior Austin Ledbetter buried the kick to give SIUE a 1-0 lead.
Ledbetter now has the only two goals SIUE has scored this year, and both have come on penalty kicks.
"Obviously I'm super proud of the guys," Sanchez said. "It's been a long week for us. After the Butler game we had some good heart-to-heart talks. I'm proud of them more because they learned from it. To come back against a very good Northridge team, I couldn't be more proud of our guys for finishing that off."
The Matadors held a 13-8 advantage in shots, including a 6-3 edge in the second half. CSUN had several chances cleared off the line or saved by SIUE goalkeeper Kyle Dal Santo, who finished with six saves and his 13th career shutout. He is now alone in eighth place on SIUE's career shutout list.
"I can't say enough about Kyle," Sanchez said. "He made some great saves."
Sanchez also praised his defense.
"The guys stuck with it," he said. "I thought they did a great job of not panicking; sticking with their tasks. At the end they created a few chances on the counter for us."
SIUE next travels to Memphis for a Wednesday night contest.
"This is the fun part of the fall," Sanchez added. "We just talked to the guys about that. Memphis is a much-improved team this year. It is just another opportunity for us to continue to get better and learn more about ourselves."