Soccer splits weekend matches

Junior defender Matt Perry found the back of the net a career-high three times Wednesday night against Aurora. ´┐╝photo via Bradleybraves.com
Junior defender Matt Perry found the back of the net a career-high three times Wednesday night against Aurora.
photo via Bradleybraves.com

The Bradley mens soccer team finished 1-1 at the 30th annual ProRehab Aces Soccer Classic in Evansville, Indiana, this past weekend.

The Braves opened the tournament against in-state rival Northern Illinois University on Saturday at Arad McCutchan Stadium.

Both teams were able to create chances in the first half, but the Braves were able to find the back of the net first when sophomore forward Roman Schindler scored in the 22nd minute. Senior forward Richard Olsen slotted a through ball to Schindler, who dribbled around Huskies goalkeeper Ethan Pitre.

Schindler continued to be a vital presence in Bradleys offense as the match progressed, providing an assist to freshman midfielder Younes Dayekh for his first goal as a Brave.

Schindler has been an offensive catalyst for Bradley so far. The Austria native has recorded two goals and one assist through his first three matches.

Individually, its been a good start for me, Schindler said. I want to score and make an impact in every game. My goal is to create at least one point in every game, so as a team, we can win.

Head coach Jim DeRose said he was impressed with the teams performance in comparison to last weeks match against Gonzaga. He was particularly pleased with his teams ability to make in-game adjustments.

I think our players had to adjust a little bit, DeRose said. Defensively, I thought we identified their dangerous players quickly. On attack, we pressured their third of the field more and had solid counter attacks, which led to creating good chances [for us]. We created off of the counter, which is something we lacked against a more seasoned Gonzaga side.

Bradley pulled out the 2-1 victory over NIU, however, the team could not manage the same success against the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. The Braves fell 2-0 in their second and final match in the classic.

In contrast to their first match, the pace of play was substantially slower as both teams defensive units stopped any attempts at goal.

The game seemed as if it were destined for extra time until Bradley junior midfielder Alex Ciaramitaro received a red card in the 85th minute and was ejected for a dangerous foul.

The Panthers wasted no time using this to their advantage, scoring under a minute later.

With this newfound momentum, Bradleys opponents were able to score again shortly after to pull away.

According to DeRose, late-game composure is going to be an area the team will need to focus on improving.

We need to improve on not conceding late. That stuff cant happen, DeRose said. I felt that the game was headed for overtime, but we needed to generate a bit more.

Goalkeeper Brandon Barnes and Schindler collected individual accolades, being named to the 2017 ProRehab Aces Soccer Classic All-Tournament Team along with nine other players.

In addition to competing in the tournament, the Braves blanked Aurora University on Wednesday, taking down the Panthers 3-0. Junior Matt Perry led the way with a career-best two goals.

The team will be back in action against Incarnate Word Academy 7 tonight at Shea Stadium.