CINNCINATI Oct 18, 2016– SIUE men's soccer extended the longest unbeaten streak in the Missouri Valley Conference (MVC) to six games Tuesday night, scoring a 1-0 road win at Xavier.
"We played well from the first whistle all the way through," SIUE Head Coach Mario Sanchez said. "This was by far the most complete game we've played."
The Cougars improved to 6-4-3 with the win. SIUE is 5-0-1 in its last six games. Xavier, who was receiving votes in the most recent NSCAA poll, dropped to 7-4-3. The Musketeers were No. 27 in the most recent RPI rankings.
"We went in with the mindset that this was an NCAA tournament game," Sanchez said. "Xavier is a good program with a great coach. They've been in the NCAA tournament three of the last four seasons and they'll likely be there again."
The lone goal came in the 14th minute when SIUE took advantage of a corner kick. Ivan Gutierrez scored the eventual game-winner, his first goal of the year. Keegan McHugh sent the corner into the box where Andrew Kendall-Moullin headed the ball out of the reach of Xavier goalkeeper Colin Hanley. Gutierrez was there for the tap-in.
"I'm most proud of the way we started," Sanchez added. "To get an early goal and for it to come on a set piece – that's something we work on."
The Cougars finished with 14 shots and six on goal. Gutierrez and Devyn Jambga finished with four shots apiece. Three of Gutierrez's shots were on goal, while Jambga put two on target.
The SIUE defense limited Xavier to just nine shots and only four on frame. Matt Vazquenza paced the Musketeers with three shots including one on goal.
Kyle Dal Santo made four saves to pick up his fifth shutout of the year and the 16th of his career.
"To hold on and to get a shutout against Xavier just makes for a fantastic night," Sanchez said.
SIUE has four games remaining, all of which are MVC games. The Cougars return to Korte Stadium Saturday for the second meeting of the year with Bradley. The two teams played to a scoreless draw Oct. 8 in Peoria, Illinois.
"We must continue to do the right things and to work on our process," Sanchez added. "Bradley is our next mark. They are super-tough to play against. We just have to continue to improve."
Saturday's game time is set for 7 p.m.