OMAHA, Neb. - SIUE's Justin Bilyeu hit a direct kick from 30 yards out into the back of the net with 4:48 remaining, giving the Cougars a 1-0 win over the Omaha men's soccer team on Tuesday at the UNO Soccer Field.
The two teams battled evenly for 85 minutes until Bilyeu's left-footed strike went just over the hands of an outstretched Matt Grosey. The goal proved to be the difference.
After an uneventful first half with no shots on goal for either team, Vance Rookwood finally posed the first threat when he received a cross from Jake McCain and forced a diving save by SIUE goalie John Berner. Two minutes later, Christian Garcia's header went just wide of the post.
Grosey made two key stops to keep the teams on even terms, one on a 2-on-1 counter by SIUE (4-2) in the 65th minute.
Bilyeu's goal in the 86th minute forced the Mavericks (1-4) to push forward aggressively. In the final four minutes, Omaha put four shots toward the SIUE net but couldn't net the equalizer.
Omaha finished with a 15-7 advantage in shots and a 4-2 edge in shots on goal.
The Mavericks host Cal State Fullerton on Saturday at 4 p.m. at the UNO Soccer Field.