The Missouri State soccer Bears won their second straight Missouri Valley Conference tournament championship today, defeating Evansville 3-0.
The Bears controlled the pace from start to finish, attempting 16 shots in total.
Junior midfielder Javier Martin Gil netted MSU’s first goal in the 28th minute in the first half on an assist from senior forward/midfielder Josh Dolling and sophomore forward Jesus Barea.
Going into the second half, the Bears were up 2-0 after junior forward Jon Koka kicked the ball into the back of the net on an assist from senior defender Greg Stratton in the 38th minute.
Missouri State came into the second half with the same intensity from the first, scored their third goal from Barea and went on to win their third overall MVC tournament championship.
“It’s great to win back-to-back titles,” Barea said. “It’s my second year here and we’ve won four trophies in the MVC, and now it’s time for the NCAA tournament.”
This win marks Jon Leamy’s final MVC tournament game as head coach for the Bears. Leamy is currently the winningest coach in Missouri State’s history with 308 wins.
“The guys did a fantastic job all season, but they were focused and prepared for today,” Leamy said in a Missouri State press release. “The coaching staff did an unbelievable job getting the team ready to go for the tournament, the guys went out and took care of business, and mostly, they’re excited to play again.”
With this win, Missouri State automatically enters the NCAA tournament. Their opponents will be decided Monday, Nov. 15 at noon.
Follow Nicole Walker on Twitter, @NicoleDanaeWal1
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