EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. – SIUE matched its season high for scoring in the first half Saturday night, striking three times and then held on for a 3-1 win over Bradley.
The win extends SIUE's unbeaten streak to a Missouri Valley Conference best seven games.
The Cougars improved to 7-4-3 overall and 3-1-1 in MVC play. Bradley fell to 2-11-3 overall and 0-5-1 in the Valley.
The Cougars got on the board quickly, finding the net in the second minute of play. Devyn Jambga carried the ball down the right side line then sent a pass into the box. Lachlan McLean deflected the ball out to the top of the box where Ivan Gutierrez hit a shot to the left side to make it 1-0.
Just four minutes late SIUE made it 2-0. Jason Hackett took a throw in from the left side, splitting two defenders to find Mohamed Awad. Awad centered a pass to Jambga, who slid the ball past Bradley goalkeeper Logan Ketterer.
"We talked a lot about starting right tonight," SIUE Head Coach Mario Sanchez said. "After being 1-0 against Xavier, sometimes the tendency is to have an emotional letdown."
SIUE went up 3-0 just a 1:20 before halftime. Greg Solawa played the kick into the six-yard box where it was deflected in by the Bradley defense.
"I couldn't have asked for anything more," Sanchez said. "The first half was one of our best halves."
Bradley got on the board in 65th minute when the Cougars failed to clear a ball from in front of the goal. Donald Link finished it off for his first of the year, ending a 537:46 scoring drought for the Braves.
SIUE outshot Bradley 11-9. Ketterer finished with four saves. Dal Santo made five saves for SIUE.
The Cougars have three games remaining, all of which are Missouri Valley Conference games. SIUE plays on the road at Central Arkansas Wednesday night at 7 p.m.
"There's still a lot to play for," Sanchez said. "The most important thing is that we are playing our best soccer. We need to continue to move forward, get better every single day and build momentum."