The University of Central Arkansas men’s soccer team narrowly missed out on picking up its first conference win of the season Wednesday against Evansville, just missing on a handful of scoring opportunities as the Bears and Purple Aces battled to a 0-0 tie.
The tie gives the Bears (1-7-4, 0-1-2 Missouri Valley Conference) four for the season, the highest total in program history. It also keeps UCA a point ahead of Evansville (5-6-1, 0-3-1) in the MVC standings with three games left.
The Bears looked to have a shot to take the lead in the waning moments of regulation after a failed attempt by an Evansville defender to clear the ball left UCA’s Chris Deaville with an open look at the net. Deaville’s shot got up in the wind and sailed away from the goal, keeping the game scoreless. Less than a minute later, UCA had a corner kick but was unable to convert there as well.
In the first overtime period the Bears had a header by Damon Hymas and two shots from Andrew Van Woesik miss the mark before Ethan Miller lobbed a high shot toward the net in the 100th minute that Evansville keeper Eric Teppen grabbed just beneath the crossbar to force a second overtime period.
The Purple Aces had one shot on goal in the period, but UCA keeper Patxi Shortsleeve was there for his fifth and final save of the afternoon.
In the second overtime, UCA was presented another chance to break the tie as Teppen slipped to the turf after making a play on a UCA shot, but the Bears could not take advantage before Evansville was able to clear the ball and keep the scoreless tie intact.
The Bears have three MVC games remaining, starting with second-place Drake on Saturday. UCA must also travel to No. 6 Creighton on Oct. 29 and host third-place Bradley on Nov. 5.
Saturday’s start time for the UCA-Drake game is 2 p.m. at the Bill Stephens Track/Soccer Complex.