The Bradley soccer team faced a difficult week after losing an in-conference game on the road against the University of Central Arkansas, 2-0, last Saturday. The loss dropped the Braves Missouri Valley Conference record to 2-2-1, 8-5-1 overall.
While the first half had no goals, the Bears kept control of the game through possession and scoring chances, outshooting Bradley 10-2. The lack of possession would prove costly in the second half, as UCA netted two goals.
Head coach Jim DeRose said it was unfortunate that the team has not converted in the last few games but is looking forward to the upcoming weekends games.
Central Arkansas, who are 8-1-1 in-conference, played really well [against Bradley], DeRose said. Unfortunately, we conceded on a long throw-in and corner kick, both of which were set pieces and we got the results from that.
The Bears concluded the game with a 21-8 shot advantage, 12-3 in corner kicks.
The Braves then took on the University of Illinois at Chicago this past Tuesday at Shea Stadium, in what would be a closely contested matchup. UIC was able to edge out Bradley with a 2-1 victory.
After falling behind early, junior forward Frank Bak was able to score his third goal of the season and tie the game at 1-1 when he scored a curler from 20 yards out in the 57th minute. Freshman midfielder Younes Dayekh provided a ball from a corner kick which fell to Bak right outside the box.
The team recently has been struggling the past three or four games, Bak said I feel like weve been struggling a bit offensively and have been leaking in some goals we normally dont on the defensive end. Overall, I think well bounce back and be fine in the end.
While the Braves have been struggling lately, Bak said the team is focused on improving, and are much better than last season.
The game [on Tuesday] I felt could have been played a little better, but again, little details led to the goals we let up. The goal I scored felt really good, but in the end, it wasnt enough. Last year, we struggled a lot offensively. This year, I think we cleaned it up and are getting results, Bak said.
A late UIC corner kick gave the Flames a 2-1 advantage that proved to be the deciding goal.
The Braves look to get back on track in the MVC tomorrow with a road matchup against the University of Loyola Chicago. Kick-off starts at 7:30 p.m.