The Missouri State men’s soccer team started last week holding both the Missouri Valley Conference offensive and defensive players of the week from the previous week. Junior Josh Dolling had been named offensive player of the week after a last-minute goal to win the match against University of Tulsa, and senior Kyle Hiebert had been named defensive player of the week.
The Bears ended the week ranked first in the MVC with a 6-0 record on the season. The second ranked team is Drake with a 4-3 overall record and a 1-0 conference record, and in third, lies Loyola Chicago with a 4-3 overall record and a 1-1 conference record.
Beginning the week 4-0, the Bears competed in their first two MVC matchups of the season against Valparaiso and Loyola.
The Bears took down Valparaiso on Wednesday, Sept. 18, at home 3-1. Goals were scored by seniors Stuart Wilkin, Ian Jones and Matthew Bentley. Dolling assisted Wilkin and had three shots on goal.
“We got off to a great start today with the two early goals and were able to come away with a big conference win,” head coach Jon Leamy said. “The guys have worked hard to establish themselves and where they want to be at the end of the season.”
The Bears traveled to Chicago to take down Loyola on Sunday. The Bears won 2-1 in overtime.
“This was a total-team effort today, from the players to the coaching staff in some wet conditions,’’ Leamy said. “We put ourselves in a hole with the goal in the first half, but we had a tremendous response in the second half and (Wilkin) placed a fantastic shot to win it.”
Bentley scored the only goal for the Bears during the first 90 minutes to tie the game. He scored off of a penalty kick to the left of the goalkeeper.
Wilkin won the game for the Bears with a shot fired from 18 yards out, just a minute and a half into overtime play.
The Bears will continue on the road against Western Illinois on Thursday, Sept. 26.