PEORIA, Ill. – Missouri State (10-3-2, 5-0 MVC) clinched the program’s fifth Missouri Valley Conference regular-season title after defeating Bradley (8-6-2, 2-2-1 MVC) 1-0 on Saturday night. The Bears also won the MVC regular-season in 1997, 1999, 2009 and 2011.
The Missouri State defense, which was the national leader in goals against average heading into the game, once again showed the strength in the back and recorded the team’s 10th clean sheet of the season.
Goalie Trevor Spangenberg finished with three saves on the night, including two last moment tip saves in the second half to prevent Bradley’s Alon Badat and Scott Davis from scoring.
Emmerich Hoegg scored his team high fifth goal of the season in the 38th minute of the game. The Bears earned a throw in the offensive third of the field. Instead of crowding the penalty box, Missouri State relied on the passing game that had fared well throughout most of the match.
Brandon Barbero received the ball with his back to the goal. From the top of the box, he spun to make a pass to the running Hoegg inside the eighteen. Hoegg then was one-on-one with Brave’s goalkeeper Brian Billings and was able to blast it past him into the back of the net.
Hoegg’s 10 points and five game-winners are both team highs.
The Bears depended on a lot of possession, starting in the back line, and moving ahead. Strong control of the ball and precise passing allowed Missouri State to work forward to get opportunities. The Bears earned five corners on the night and finished with 10 shots.