Category: Aces

Bradley University made Evansville pay for its constant pressure by scoring three counter-attack goals, including Cody Lofgrens golden goal in the 102nd minute, as the third-seeded, host Braves (11-6-2) advanced to the semifinals of the 2013 Missouri Valley Conference Men’s Soccer Championship with a 3-2 win Wednesday night at Shea Stadium. Bradley will face second-seeded Drake in Friday’s 6 p.m. Senior Brian Billings, who recorded a career-high 13 saves one game after setting his previous single-game best with 11 saves Saturday at Evansville, made his best save of the night pay big dividends. After Billings made a diving catch of a Faik Hajderovic shot to the left post, Evansville made one last rush off the resulting punt. The Braves stopped the rush then headed the other direction when defender Zach Kovacevic played the ball ahead. Wojcik Wojciech collected and knocked the ball over the top for Lofgren on the left flank. Purple Aces junior goalkeeper Eric Teppen was undecisive with his first move and Lofgren won the race to the ball, shooting over the charging keeper from 25 yards out for the golden goal at 101:43.

-Bob

Bradley University senior Lauren Zerante collected the second-most digs in school history with 36 and fellow senior Alise Tupuritis tallied a season-best 26 kills, but it wasn’t enough as Evansville rallied to top the Braves 20-25, 25-21, 19-25, 25-21, 15-13 Friday evening. Zerante’s 36 digs are a Renaissance Coliseum record and rank as the second most digs in a match at Bradley behind Briony Hammet’s school record of 38 digs set at Evansville on Oct. 22, 2005. Tupuritis highlighted the BU offensive attack with a match and season-high 26 kills, as she notched 19 of her kills in the final three sets. Despite senior middle blocker Amy Angelos leaving the match early in the fourth set due to injury, Bradley rallied from a four-point deficit (17-13) to pull even at 19-19. Back-to-back Bradley blocks knotted the score at 19-19 and the teams were tied at 20-20 after trading points. Evansville answered with a block of its own, however, and three more BU attack errors down the stretch helped the Purple Aces take the fourth set 25-21 and force the deciding fifth. Zerante’s 36 digs moved her into ninth in Bradley history with 1,165 as she passed Amelie Rodrige (1,164 digs).  Sophomore Jessica Teel had her third double-double of the year with 26 assists and career-best 17 digs, while freshman Melissa Hoerber had 28 assists and season-high 17 digs for her fifth double-double of the season in addition to three aces to help lead the Braves. Click here to view more photo’s.

-Bob

Freshman LHP Brent Stong gave Bradley 7.0 strong innings and senior LF Mike Tauchman was 2-for-4 with a double, run scored and RBI, but Evansville (23-33) staved off elimination in the 2013 Missouri Valley Conference Baseball Championship when Kevin Kaczmarski launched a 3-run, walk-off home run, lifting the Purple Aces to a 4-3 win in Wednesday’s second round at Duffy Bass Field. The loss ends the Braves season at 17-32 and Tauchman, the Joe Carter MVC Player of the Year, will have to wait and see if his school-record .425 season batting average stands up as the nation’s best through the remainder of the postseason. Stong limited Evansville to one run on four hits in his longest outing of the season, 7.0 innings, then gave way to fellow freshman Elliot Ashbeck to start the eighth. Ashbeck (0-2) worked a perfect eighth, but ran into trouble with one out in the ninth. After surrendering a single to No. 8 hitter, shortstop Shain Showers, Ashbeck walked No. 9 hitter Andy Lasher before Kaczmarski lined his game-winning blast over the right-field wall.

-Bob

While the backcourt stars from both teams combined for 79 points, Bradley junior forward Tyshon Pickett proved to be the difference, leading the host Braves (14-10, 6-6 MVC) to a 76-70 Missouri Valley Conference victory versus Evansville (13-11, 6-6 MVC) Tuesday night at Carver Arena. Colt Ryan scored a game-high 27 points, highlighted by a 4-minute, 26-second stretch spanning halftime that saw him score 17 points on 7-for-7 shooting from the field.  In his other 33 minutes, however, Ryan was 3-for-15 from the field.  D.J. Balentine added 13 points off the bench for Evansville, while Ned Cox chipped in with 10 for the Purple Aces. Bradley countered the 40-point combo from Ryan and Balentine with 21 points from senior guard Dyricus Simms-Edwards and 18 points from junior guard Walt Lemon, Jr. who added six rebounds, five assists and two steals, split two free throws with 1:16 remaining to give the Braves the lead for good, 71-70.

-Bob

Bradley scored 11 points before Evansville took its first shot and the Braves never trailed as they pulled away for a convincing 78-52 victory against the visiting Purple Aces Thursday at Renaissance Coliseum. Senior Katie Yohn helped Bradley (8-11 overall, 2-6 MVC) make a season-high 10 three-pointers, connecting on 6-of-8 from beyond the arc en route to a season-high 21 points. Evansville (7-12 overall, 5-3 MVC) trimmed BU’s early 11-point lead to three points at 25-22 with 8:58 to play in the first half, but that was as close the Braves would allow the Purple Aces to get the remainder of the contest.  After stretching its lead to nine points at the half (42-33), Bradley opened the second half with a 13-2 run to extend the advantage to 55-35 with 13:37 remaining and the game was never in doubt. Yohn had one of her six threes and a pair of assists during the run which put the game out of reach. Sophomore Michelle Young added 11 points and freshman Jenny Smith scored 10 points off the bench to help pace the Braves.  Junior Catie O’Leary dished out a career-high seven rebounds and tied Smith for team-high honors with six boards.

-Bob

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