Southern Illinois 4, North Carolina-Pembroke 1



WICHITA FALLS, Texas -- Southern Illinois University Edwardsville advanced to the NCAA Division II men's soccer title game Friday night with a 4-1 thumping of North Carolina-Pembroke. SIUE will play in the national championship game against the winner of the Dowling and Seattle match, which was to be played at 7:30 p.m. The national title game is set for 1 p.m. Sunday and can be heard on WSIE FM 88.7 and SIUE's Web Radio at

The Cougars, 19-2-2, picked up goals from Michael Burgund, Pete Cacciatore, Victor Pacheco, and Mike Banner. All four players picked up their respective sixth goals of the year.

Both teams appeared to be close in the first half as UNC-Pembroke outshot the Cougars 8-5 in the first half and 16-14 overall. UNC-Pembroke, 16-3, held off SIUE's relentless offense with 10 offsides calls in the game.

"They were pressing us in the first half," said SIUE Coach Ed Huneke.

However, it was SIUE that striked first as Burgund scored from six yards out front on an assist from Kevin Thibodeau.

SIUE took a 1-0 lead to the locker room at halftime. UNC-Pembroke evened up the score just 62 seconds into the second half as Graeme Little connected from 15 yards out with an assist to Trond Myrland.

"When they got that goal, it was big in terms of momentum. It was not a 4-1 game. Pembroke is a good team," said Huneke.

The Cougars then took control, turning a close game into a second-half blowout.

Cacciatore picked up his first goal since Oct. 1 at 61:30. It turned out to be the game-winner. Pacheco picked up a rebound goal at 72:28 after Adam Lanter fired a shot off UNCP freshman goalkeeper Richard Sallin. Banner put the game out of reach with 58 seconds left with SIUE's final goal on a another assist from Lanter.

Huneke said Cacciatore's goal was how SIUE hoped to attack UNC-Pembroke.

"They had three backs and we wanted to switch fields looking for an open player. (Brian) Higgins got the ball to an open Cacciatore on the wing, and he scored," noted Huneke. "Pete had one of his best games at SIUE. He was unbelieveable on offense and defense."

SIUE goalkeeper Nicholas Frasca, a freshman, allowed just a single goal and picked up six saves.

SIUE has now tied the school record for victories in a season with 19, set previously by the 1979 national championship team.

The Cougars previously won national championships in 1972 and 1979. The Cougars finished second in 1975.

"I'm happy not only for our players but also for the University, our alumni and the St. Louis area," Huneke said.

--Courtesy Duke