PEORIA — The Bradley soccer team found another gear in the second half of Wednesday night's quarterfinal match against Drake in the Missouri Valley Conference soccer tournament.
After giving up a first-half goal, the Braves scored three times in the second half and eliminated the Bulldogs 3-1 at Shea Stadium. It was the first come-from-behind win of the season for BU.
Third-seeded BU advanced to Friday's 6 p.m. semifinal match against No. 3 Central Arkansas.
"I thought from the opening whistle, we were uncharacteristically sloppy," Bradley coach Jim DeRose said. "We were getting services, but we were just not running the box. We were standing and hoping to get to it.
"I'd say from about the 25th minute on in the first half, even though we conceded the goal, we were getting forward, getting balls in the box, and running it. At halftime we talked to them about running the box across people."
The Braves (11-7-2) took the lead for good early in the second half when Roman Schindler and Alex Ciaramitaro scored goals 61 seconds apart.
Schindler, who came off the bench, took a cross from Jha'Lon Johnson and scored from inside the 6-yard box at 47:49.
On a long throw-in from senior Jacob Taylor, Clark Emerson flicked the ball to Ciaramitaro, who scored his second goal of the season at 48:50.
"To get that goal early in the second half really helped," DeRose said. "If the game wears on and you miss more chances, the guys start to wonder if the goal is going to come.
"Once we got the first one, you could see we really had that next bump. And to get the second one was huge. I thought that set the tone for everything."
Ciaramitaro, who was on the back line, said he was not surprised with the two quick goals to start the second half.
"We came out of the locker room gunning to get that first goal," he said. "We were pressuring really hard at the end of the first half, so we felt it coming.
"I was kind of surprised the ball fell to me that close to the goal. But I'll take it."
Freshman Gerit Wintermeyer scored an insurance goal at 74:08 on a feed from Schindler inside the 18-yard box. Wintermeyer chipped the ball high into the Drake net for the 3-1 lead.
Drake (6-11-2), which beat Valparaiso 4-2 on Tuesday, took the early lead on a Stafford Dowling goal at 26:37. The Bulldogs were blanked the rest of the way.
"It was tough, with two games in two days," Bulldogs coach Gareth Smith said. "But the guys put everything they had on the field.
"They were good in the first half, weathered a little bit of the storm and were 1-nothing up. But you could see the lags a little bit in the second half. But credit to Bradley, because they were very good, very organized and created a lot of opportunities."
In the other quarterfinal, Evansville got a goal from Ian McGrath in the 58th minute and beat Loyola 1-0. The Purple Aces will take on top-seeded Missouri State at 3 p.m. Friday in the semifinals.
Johnny Campos can be reached at 686-3214 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @JohnnyCampos59.