SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — The Missouri State men’s soccer team is back in the winners circle and back in the NCAA tournament.
Missouri State beat Loyola 1-0 on Saturday afternoon at Betty and Bobby Allison South Stadium in Springfield to win the Missouri Valley Conference tournament championship.
It’s the Bears (11-1) first tournament title since 1999.
“It’s huge for the program. It’s huge for us seniors,” Missouri State defender Josh Dolling said. “We’ve been here. This is our third final since my freshman year. Last year we nearly won it and lost it right at the last minute, so this is a real sweet one for the boys.”
During that span, the Bears made 10 trips to the tournament championship game.
“It’s a great day. It’s a great day for the team, for the athletic department and more importantly the university,” Missouri State head coach Jon Leamy said. “It’s just fantastic.”
That Includes a tie to Loyola in the 2019 MVC Title match, which the Ramblers would claim the trophy after a 5-4 penalty kick advantage.
“It’s amazing. It’s a moment we’ve been waiting for so long,” Missouri State senior defender Kyle Hiebert said. “I’ve been around four of these things and they can be real chaotic. It’s a tremendous feeling for our whole team, the coaching staff and all the fans to finally get this trophy in our bag.”
Neither team scored in the first half, on only three combined shots on goal.
Bears’ freshman defender Adrian Barosen broke the deadlock with a goal in the 76′.
It was his first goal of the season.
The Bears will now turn their attention to the NCAA Tournament, which will be held at various sites in North Carolina.
The bracket is scheduled to be released on Monday at 11 am.