4.17 Stratton Article

Senior Greg Stratton dumps Powerade on head coach Jon Leamy after their Missouri Valley Conference men's soccer Championship win. The Bears beat Loyola 1-0 for the title on April 17.

On a cold Saturday afternoon, the Missouri Valley Conference Championship men's soccer game matched the temperature until late in the second half with a MSU win of 1-0. 

The Bears’ were off to a slow start with two out-of-bounds kicks while the Loyola-Chicago Ramblers tried to get an early start with a goal attempt in the 5th minute of the first half but senior goalkeeper Michael Creek had the save.

The first shot for the Bears came from sophomore midfielder Kian Yari, but it was saved by Ramblers’ goalkeeper Simon Jillson.

The Ramblers had two corner kicks in the 30th minute, the first was knocked out of bounds by the Bears’ while the second was cleared by Creek. 

Senior forward Josh Dolling had a nearly defenseless shot but it was caught by Jillson once again in the 37th. Dolling then received a yellow card moments later, following a foul on teammate, freshman forward Jesus Barea. 

After the yellow card was received, sophomore forward John Koka subbed in at the 42nd minute for Dolling.

After a scoreless first half, the Valley title was still up for grabs.

Similar to the first half, the second was slow to start. 

The Ramblers took a hopeful shot but it was blocked by Creek in the 69th minute.

Adrian Barosen broke the tie and made the score 1-0 on an assist by Yari and junior forward Nicolo Mulerato in the 75th minute. 

Once the final buzzer sounded, not only did the crowd erupt but the players rushed the field and embraced one another. 

“It is a moment we’ve been waiting for for so long,” senior defender Kyle Hiebert said, “It's a tremendous feeling for our whole team, coaching staff and all of the fans to finally get this trophy in our bag.”

Head coach Jon Leamy has been chasing this win since the last time his team won the MVC tournament  1999.

“It is a great day for the team, the athletic department, and most importantly the university,” Leamy said. 

The Bears will be playing in the NCAA Men’s soccer tournament at the end of the month in Cary, North Carolina. The bracket will be revealed on Monday, April 19.


Follow Makayla Strickland on Twitter, m_strickland28

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