UE men’s soccer snaps three-game skid with 1-0 win over Bradley

The Purple Aces pick up their first win in over a month on Friday evening
EVANSVILLE, Ind. — The University of Evansville men’s soccer picked up three crucial points in its 1-0 win over Bradley on Friday night.

A goal in the 39th minute from senior Kai Phillip gave the Purple Aces a much-needed win during their Senior Night game against the Bradley Braves. UE’s defense helped keep the game a clean sheet by only allowing two shots on goal while graduate goalkeeper Jacob Madden made both saves for his second shutout of the season. Winger Nkosi Graham and midfielder Ola Arntsen each gained a point with assists on Phillip’s goal in the first half.

Friday night’s match began slowly with the Aces getting the first shot on goal of the night from Phillip. Only three more shots were added in the first half before Evansville broke through in the 38th minute. Following a corner kick for UE, Arntsen found the ball near the right corner of the penalty area and sent a cross to the other side for Graham. Graham got a head on the ball, placing it in front of Phillip for a quick right-footed release into the upper right corner of the net. The Aces kept the Braves from registering another shot in the half, heading into the second half with a lead for the first time since September 23rd.

UE wouldn’t relinquish its one-goal lead in the second half either. As the game got more intense, Evansville was able to keep their defense strong, limiting Bradley to only four shots through 45 minutes. The Aces also had two close opportunities in the final frame, both from Graham. In the 59th minute, Graham made a run towards the right side of the goal but shot just high. His second opportunity of the half came in the 89th minute as Graham found the goal open on the right side. Graham’s shot went into the net but was later called offside as he was in front of the goalkeeper on the shot. Even with the disallowed goal, UE picked up a much-needed three points in conference play.

Evansville is currently in a multiple-tie scenario heading into the final game of the season for the Missouri Valley Conference tournament. With seven points, the Aces are tied with Northern Illinois for the final spot in the tournament with a game on Wednesday against the Belmont Bruins. A win against the Bruins would secure a spot in the tournament for UE. A result against Belmont could also secure Evansville the final seed of the tournament if Northern Illinois either ties or loses to Bowling Green. There is a slight chance the Aces could secure the final seed in the tournament with a loss to the Bruins if Northern Illinois doesn’t have a result against the Falcons and Drake does not win its match against Missouri State.

UE’s final game of the regular season is set for Wednesday, Nov. 1. Evansville will travel to Nashville to take on the Belmont Bruins in the 2023 regular-season finale. Kick-off from E.S. Rose Park is set for 6:30 p.m.