[-/RV] Denver Tops Saint Louis Behind Barlow Brace
Barlow nets two in the first half, and Underwood curls late free kick to send Denver to 3-1 road win
Sept. 26, 2017
ST. LOUIS, Mo. - Redshirt-sophomore Ryan Barlow (Coppell, Texas) completed a first-half brace inside 23 minutes and senior co-captain Alex Underwood (Winnetka, Ill.) bent an 83rd minute free kick into the side netting to send the [-/RV] University of Denver men's soccer team to a 3-1 road win over Saint Louis on Tuesday night at Hermann Stadium.
"I'm proud of my leaders tonight," head coach Jamie Franks said. "There was bravery and a collectiveness that we've been unable to sustain throughout the year. There have been great moments this season, but we've been unable to really put a match together like we did tonight.
"To respond after the pk and defend well in the second half was great to see from my guys. To defend like we did and get a third goal to seal the match was an important moment for this leadership group. Alex Underwood and Graham Smith played their roles and kept the group together tonight. We showed that fighting football mentality, and when we do that for 90 minutes, we're a tough team to beat."
Junior striker Andre Shinyashiki (Sao Paulo, Brazil) played a role in all three goals for the Pioneers, earning assists through initial shots on the two Barlow goals, and creating the free kick that led to Underwood's 20-yard set-piece goal.
Barlow opened the scoring in the 20th minute, putting his rebound into the left side of the net after Shinyashiki's second shot of the night was saved by Sascha Otte.
The redshirt-sophomore doubled the Pioneers advantage in the 23rd minute. Shinyashiki's shot started the scoring chance once again, rattling his strike off the woodwork this time, but Barlow was there to finish his third goal of both the 2017 season and his career, including his second game-winner.
Lennart Hein pulled the home side back to within one, converting from the spot for his third goal of the season in the 26th minute.
Following three goals in the first 26 minutes, Denver took a 2-1 lead into the intermission having outshot SLU 8-6. The Bills took three of the match's four corner kicks in the opening 45 minutes.
Saint Louis pushed for the second-half equalizer, outshooting the Pioneers 8-1 in the second 45 minutes, but Underwood converted Denver's lone chance late in the second half for his second goal of the campaign and the 10th goal of his career.
Redshirt-junior goalkeeper Nick Gardner (Marvin, N.C.) made a season-high four saves in the win.
With the victory, Denver improved to 5-4-0 on the 2017 campaign, while Saint Louis fell to 2-4-1. The Billikens entered Tuesday off a win over defending National Champion Stanford and a draw with Akron.
The Pioneers grabbed their first three points away from home in three tries in 2017. Denver earned 24 points away from home in 2016 (11 matches) and 20 in 2015 (eight matches).
"The nine days off were important for us," Franks said. "We found out some truths about the organization and figured out a way to better hold this particular group accountable. I thought in training over the last week, we had a better sense of how to get the best out of eachother and support one another. It was vital to take a step back and realize that this group isn't scared of the truth. We'll continue to work on our strengths and weaknesses and get better from it."
UP NEXT: Denver will continue its first road trip of true road matches (played two neutral site matches earlier this month) on Saturday when the Pioneers head to Gonzaga. Kickoff is set for 8 p.m. MT. DU returns home on October 7 to take on Eastern Illinois (7 p.m. MT) in the Pioneers Summit League opener.
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