EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. – Three different players found the back of the net Friday as SIUE men's soccer shut out Wisconsin 3-0 at Korte Stadium.
The win is the third in a row for the Cougars who improved to 3-0-1. Wisconsin dropped to 2-3 following the setback.
Kickoff came 15 minutes late because of lightning in the area, which also forced another delay before the start of the second half.
"The response from the guys after a little bit of a delay was really positive against a dangerous team," SIUE Head Coach Mario Sanchez said. "The response in the second half was tremendous."
After a scoreless first half which saw the Cougars get outshot 5-1 by the Badgers, SIUE outshot Wisconsin 9-3 in the second half en route to three goals.
"What I liked most was the composure that we showed," Sanchez said. "In a tough game you can get emotional, and the guys showed their maturity tonight."
Keegan McHugh put the Cougars on top with a free kick in the 66th minute. He rifled a shot under the crossbar from 30 yards out.
"I have to give (Assistant Coach) Simon Bird credit," Sanchez said. "He's taken over our set pieces. He's taken a lot of pride in it and that's come through the players. Now they're looking to score goals."
Jorge Gonzalez capped the scoring with his team-leading third goal of the year with just 47 seconds to play. Cougar goalkeeper Noah Heim delivered a long outlet off a goal kick. McLean got a head to it before Gonzalez carried it into the box and scored from 12 yards out.
"To have different guys score goals is great," Sanchez said. "It keeps everyone hungry. We're not just relying on one guy. We have different pieces who can do it."
Heim picked up his third consecutive shutout and was forced to make two strong saves in the final minutes of the game. Heim lowered his goals against average to 0.47 in the win.
"He was great," Sanchez said of his goalkeeper. "He made a couple of point-blank saves. He is growing in confidence. He and (goalkeeper coach) Jeremy (Proud) are working well together. It breeds confidence within the team. The defenders have a little bit more confidence to be aggressive. Our team is more aggressive and a lot of it is because of Noah."
Wisconsin goalkeeper Drew Cowdroy made three saves for the Badgers. Isaac Schlenker led the way for Wisconsin with three shots.
SIUE continues its home stand with a Sunday night contest against No. 24 Grand Canyon.
"They're athletic, and they can fly," Sanchez said of the Lopes. "We're excited. It's about bringing top teams here to SIUE for the community and for our program. We're looking forward to another challenge."
Kickoff Sunday night is set for 7 p.m.