Evansville, Ind. - Saint Louis FC traveled to Evansville, Indiana on Wednesday to compete against the University of Evansville men's soccer team and NASL side Indy Eleven in a double-header that saw Saint Louis FC claim a 2-1 victory against Evansville and draw 1-1 with Indy Eleven.
The primetime showdown between Indy Eleven and Saint Louis FC marked the first professional soccer game ever played on the University of Evansville campus. A competitive first half did not yield any goals for either side and the teams remained locked in a scoreless draw at halftime. The draw only lasted one minute into the second half before being broken by the newest Saint Louis FC forward, Irvin Herrera, who was able to get behind the defense and finish to put Saint Louis up 0-1.
Indy Eleven managed to draw level in the 64th minute when Don Smart scored the lone goal for the designated home team.
"Irvin had three legitimate chances and scored the goal on his last chance." said Head Coach Dale Schilly. "He's looking to always try to score goals and as the guys get an understanding about where he would like to receive the ball, he'll have a lot of chances to score goals."
In the opening game against the Purple Aces, the Saint Louis FC lineup consisted of Academy players, newcomers and players fighting for minutes. STLFC struck first when Jordan Roberts found the net in the 25th minute.
Saint Louis took the one goal lead into the locker room at halftime and quickly added to the lead with a second Roberts goal in the 50th minute. Evansville was able to break through for a goal in the 76th minute but eventually fell to the visitors by a score of 1-2.
"Jordan is a guy who is very good with the ball at his feet." explained Schilly when describing Roberts' night. "He had probably three or four chances but both goals were taken very well. He's just a very good box forward."
Schilly explained the importance of the two matches tonight by citing players "still fighting for spots and the next opportunity." In the second game, the focus was on playing against a high level opponent. "Indy Eleven is a very, very good team. Last year we struggled to get the ball from them and this year we missed opportunities to go up significantly in the first half."
When discussing his overall assessment of the club's preseason so far, Schilly offered "It's been a very productive preseason. We've developed our style of play from Charleston to now. Obviously the weather has been good, but with a bit more fitness and a bit more refinement we'll be close to being absolutely ready for the game against the Monarchs."
Saint Louis FC returns to action on Saturday, March 19 when they visit Southern Illinois University – Edwardsville for one final tune up before traveling to Salt Lake City for the start of the USL season when they square off against the Real Monarchs on March 26.
Single game tickets for the 2016 Saint Louis FC home games go on sale Thursday, March 17th for season ticket members and will be made available to the public on Saturday, March 19th. For more information, please visit saintlouisfc.com, give us a call at 636.680.0997 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.