Missouri State Routs Eastern Illinois, 2-0

by Adam Samson
September 7, 2012

DAYTON, Ohio - After more than an hour of weather delays on Friday, the Missouri State men's soccer team (4-0-1) finally took the field at the Dayton Marriott Classic and claimed a 2-0 shutout victory over Eastern Illinois (1-4-0). The Bears used two first-half goals from Cole Alexander to improve their unbeaten streak to five matches.

"A lot of our winning can be contributed to what we have been doing in practice, such as pressing and keeping our lines tight," said Alexander following the win. "We're playing really well as a team and I think we can only get better from here on out."

Eastern Illinois took the first stab at getting on the scoreboard, but couldn't muster any goals off of four shot attempts in the first 20 minutes. 

Junior Cole Alexander put the Bears in front 25 minutes into the contest when he dribbled past a defender near the endline and scored opposite post for his second goal of the season. Three minutes later, Alexander was at it again on offense with a header shot. EIU was off the hook as the header went high.

The Panthers nearly evened things up in the 32nd minute with a shot from EIU midfielder Chris Boswell, but was brought in by goalkeeper Andrew Riggs for the save. 

In the 34th minute, Alexander's third shot of match was the charm as he finished opposite post once again. In just the fifth game of the season, he matched his goal production from the 2011 campaign and became the first Bear this year to register a multi-goal performance. Last season, MSU had three different players record multi-goal matches including Jordan Hoffman and Pedro Cardenas against Oral Roberts and Heath Melugin against UMKC.

After the break, Eastern Illinois came out firing and earned two shots on goal in the first four minutes. Riggs, however, continued to pad his goalkeeper stats and secured each ball to achieve a new single-game career-high and added an additional save in the closing minutes to bring his total to six.

Hanging on to the 2-0 shutout, Riggs increased his scoreless streak to 396 minutes. At the end of the night, the Panthers outshot Missouri State 14-10 and had six shots on goal to the Bears' four. 

Alexander led the Missouri State attack with his two goals and four shots. 

The Bears will be back at Baujan Field on Sunday to take on Green Bay at 10 a.m. Follow @MissouriStBears on Twitter for live updates and more information on the men's soccer program.

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