The Bradley mens soccer team defeated Fort Wayne 3-0 to win the 13th annual Homecoming game this past weekend in front of over 2,000 fans at Shea Stadium.
Sophomore forward Roman Schindler led the Braves with a career-best five-point game. Schindlers career night began in the first half as he headed home a cross from junior Frank Bak to give Bradley a 1-0 lead.
The Braves pulled away in the second half, scoring two more goals before the end of the night. Schindler scored his second goal of the night on a header in the 53rd minute, and Bak shut the door on the Mastadors with a header of his own. The win improve Bradleys record to 5-3-0.
Head coach Jim DeRose said he was happy with the end result especially with the counter attacks and the 17-14 shot count in Bradleys favor.
Weve begun to find our identity, DeRose said. Weve established our defense and started to establish our forwards in flank play an area we were deficient in last year.
According to DeRose, the Braves also have work to do, saying the team needs to obtain more possession for future matchups.
The defend-and-counter is a good thing for our defenders to let the front five deal with, but we dont possess well, DeRose said. At the end of the day, however, we want quality chances rather than a quantity of chances. If we feel the time is right and we can create better possession and combination play, we will. Sometimes our opponents just wont allow that.
Graduate student goalkeeper Brandon Barnes was able to make seven saves on the night, increasing his overall saves to 37 this season.
Barnes recorded back-to-back shutouts for the second time this season, and was named the Missouri Valley Conference Defensive Player of the Week.
In addition to the Homecoming matchup with Fort Wayne, the Braves also took on in-state rival DePaul University at Wish Field on Wednesday.
Junior defender Alex Ciaramitaro scored the lone goal in Bradleys 1-0 victory, which gave him his first point of the season. Barnes also made a career-best 11 saves against the Blue Demons, extending his clean sheet record to three games and overall saves to 48.
While it is only his first year as a Brave, the goalkeeper said he has felt very welcome at Bradley and has quickly developed a strong relationship with his teammates.
So far, Im really enjoying it [at Bradley], Barnes said. I love the camaraderie that comes with being here, because when youre down, the team is there for you. Roman was there [against Fort Wayne] to save the goal for me to keep a shutout, and hes a forward. The offensive and defensive work ethic is really appreciated and makes my job a lot easier.
The Braves, now 6-3-0, are on the road for their second in-conference match on Wednesday at the University of Evansville. The match will be broadcasted at 7 p.m. The Valley on ESPN3.