PEORIA, Ill. - Freshman forward Jason Lesch (Vernon Hills, Ill./Vernon Hills H.S.) scored his first career goal, leading Bradley (5-3-2) to a 1-0 non-conference victory versus Northern Kentucky (2-7-0) Saturday night at Shea Stadium.
Playing their first home game in 27 days, the Braves put a stop to their 2-game losing streak, while snapping Northern Kentucky's 2-game winning streak.
Dangerous on restarts the entire game, Bradley finally broke through in the 61st minute on a long throw from the right sideline. Freshman midfielder Andrew Brown started the scoring play with his throw to the top of the penalty area. Junior midfielder Keegan Balle flicked the ball to the top center of the box, where Lesch gained control with his back to the goal, took a touch to create space, spun and hit a low laser inside the near post.
In addition to resulting in the first career goal for Lesch, Brown earned his first collegiate point with the assist, while Balle extended pushed his team-leading scoring total to 13 points on the strength of five goals and three assists.
Junior goalkeeper Brian Billings needed to make just one save to record his second shutout of the season and 11th clean sheet of his career, moving into a tie for fourth with Matt Marden (1994-97) on Bradley's career list shutout list.
The Braves will continue their brief home stand by hosting nationally-ranked Northwestern at 6 p.m. Wednesday at Shea Stadium. The game against the Wildcats will be preceded by the fourth annual Braves Club Soccer Game Day Luncheon Wednesday at The Lariat Steakhouse. Tickets for the luncheon, which will feature emcee Dave Snell, Bradley head coach Jim DeRose and Northwestern coach Tim Lenahan, are $20 for Braves Club members and $25 for non-members and may be purchased in advance by contacting the Braves Club Office at 309-677-2667.