UNLV won the 2014 Hotels at Grand Prairie Classic on the shoulders of a historic effort by forward Salvador Bernal, who registered three goals and an assist in a 4-3 win against host Bradley (1-1-0) Sunday afternoon at Shea Stadium. Bernals’s heroics came after Bradley stormed to a 2-0 lead 19 minutes into the game and the Braves opened the door to the rally by surrendering two penalty kicks. Bernal’s first goal came in the run of play, pulling the Rebels to within 2-1 by popping Kevin Partida‘s counter attack flank service off the right post and into the net at 34:20. He converted his first penalty kick attempt at 41:19 to forge a 2-2 halftime tie. The Braves grabbed the early lead when forward Christian Okeke worked the right flank, before feeding Cody Lofgren in a dangerous area. Lofgren’s blast deflected back to the top of the penalty area, where Andrew Brown collected the ball and curled in a shot over UNLV keeper Ryan Harding just 6:31 into the game.
UNLV: Salvador Bernal (MVP), Connor Coletti, Kyle Mellies, Irvin Somera
Western Illinois: Armel Kouassi, Ben Fiddes, Yves Dietrich
Bradley: Andrew Brown, Christian Okeke
San Jose State: Kyle O’Mahoney, Johnathan Colunga
refused to let its record crowd go home disappointed, rallying for a 2-2
draw against the defending national champion and preseason No. 1
team, Notre Dame
, in front of 3,099
fans Tuesday night at Shea Stadium
. Just when it seemed the visiting Irish took the life out of the crowd with a go-ahead goal in the 79th minute, the Braves netted its second equalizer of the night on Christian Okeke‘s toe poke inside the right post at 84:09. The fifth annual Danny Dahlquist Memorial Game was billed as the “Battle of Champions” and the exhibition lived up to the hype, despite its exhibition status. While Notre Dame is the defending national champion, Bradley is the defending Missouri Valley Conference Tournament champion. As a preseason exhibition, and after the two teams also played a reserve game earlier in the evening, no overtime was played Tuesday. Notre Dame earned a 1-0 victory in the 60-minute reserve game on the strength of Jon Gallagher‘s 52nd-minute goal.
Bradley University played there only home exhibition game of the spring against SEC power Kentucky Saturday afternoon at Shea Stadium. The Braves scored the only goal of the game late on a blast in the box by sophomore forward Christian Okeke for a 1-0 victory against the Wildcats. A few of my images from today’s game.
Bradley University reserve forward Aaron Birk blasted a shot from the top of the penalty area in the 47th minute and the laser found the top right corner for the game’s only goal as the Braves (13-6-2) earned a 1-0 win against Missouri State (11-5-2) in the 2013 Missouri Valley Conference Men’s Soccer Championship Sunday evening at Shea Stadium. Bradley claims its third MVC Tournament title and secures its seventh appearance in the NCAA Tournament. The start of the championship game was delayed three hours, the result of severe weather that rocked Central Illinois. Bradley allowed only three shots on goal and senior keeper Brian Billings made all three saves to earn the shutout and capture MVC Tournament MVP honors. Bradley will face a familiar foe when the Braves (13-6-2) open their seventh NCAA Division I Men’s Soccer Championship Thursday at Northwestern (10-7-3) in a 7 p.m. first-round game at Lakeside Field.
Junior midfielder Cody Lofgren scored his second game-winning goal in as many games, leading third-seeded and host Bradley University (12-6-2) to a 3-0 victory versus second-seeded Drake University (8-8-4) in the semifinals of the 2013 Missouri Valley Conference Men’s Soccer Championship Friday night at Shea Stadium. Lofgren also set up Bradley’s second goal less than four minutes later when a Bulldog defender was called for a hand ball in the penalty area while attempting to block a Lofgren breakaway shot. Junior defender Zach Kovacevic buried the resulting penalty kick at 52:13 for his third goal of the year. Bradley senior goalkeeper Brian Billings made four saves and got a little help from forward Christian Okeke, who cleared a header from Nick Marshall at the right post in the 69th minute, for his eighth shutout of the season and the Braves ninth clean sheet of the year.