Aces battle to 2-2 draw with Bradley


The University of Evansville men’s soccer team battled and overcame a pair of deficits to earn a 2-2 draw with Bradley on Wednesday night at Arad McCutchan Stadium in Evansville, Ind.

“It’s a Valley game and I know Bradley’s teams are always going to fight and battle and compete,” said Aces head coach Marshall Ray. “Anytime you get on the field against a team like that you have to be able to do the same and I felt like we matched that.”

Senior midfielder Ian McGrath scored both of the Aces’ (5-3-1, 0-1-1 MVC) goals while firing a career-high 10 shots with six on-goal to lead Evansville. For the Braves (6-3-1, 1-0-1 MVC), Clark Emerson and Younes Dayekh each scored. In goal for Evansville, sophomore Frederik Reimer made a pair of saves, allowing two goals, to move to 1-3-1 on the season.

The Braves struck first in the 14th minute of the midweek showdown as Clark powered his way through a pair of defenders and finished from inside the six yard box to put Bradley in front, 1-0.

In the 61st minute, Evansville equalized the match at a goal apiece after redshirt sophomore Hunter DeWeese was taken down in the box, earning a penalty kick. McGrath stepped to the spot and scored his sixth goal and second penalty kick goal of the year.

Not long after, Bradley pushed back in front again in the 70th minute as Jha’Lon Johnson slipped a through ball to Dayekh who drilled the ball off the far post and in to give the Braves a 2-1 lead.

With just 11 minutes left in regulation, junior midfielder Zac Blaydes soared a ball over the top of the defense that found McGrath striding into the box. McGrath took a dribble and smashed the ball past the keeper and into the back of the net to knot the match at two.

Despite plenty of action in the 20 minutes of the two overtimes, neither side could find the game-winner in the 2-2 draw.

Evansville out-shot the Braves, 26-10, with a 13-4 advantage on shots on-goal.

“We had some opportunities. I think Weber had one off the crossbar and Simon, there at the end of regulation, hit one off the post,” said Ray. “Eventually those are going to start going in for us. We’re pleased with the point with the situation we were put in going a man down and fighting through overtime and coming back twice to tie the game up. We just have to do a better job of not putting ourselves in those situations.”

Next up for the Aces is a trip north to take on the top-ranked Indiana Hoosiers on Tuesday, October 3 at 6:30 p.m. (CDT) in Bloomington, Ind.