Xavier Settles For 1-1 Draw Against No. 20 Northwestern
Aug. 25, 2012
EVANSTON, Ill. - The Xavier men's soccer team allowed a penalty kick goal with nine seconds remaining in regulation and eventually settled for a 1-1 draw against No. 20 Northwestern to open the 2012 season.
Senior forward Luke Spencer scored early in the first half for the Musketeers (0-0-1) who were just seconds away from defeating the Big Ten regular and postseason champions.
Xavier committed a foul in the box giving the Wildcats (0-0-1) an opportunity to tie the score with seconds to spare. Chris Ritter converted the penalty kick for Northwestern tying the match and sending it to overtime.
The Wildcats applied pressure in the overtime periods recording six shots and five corner kicks, but the resilient defense of the Musketeers withstood the challenge to earn the draw. The Musketeers mounted a few scoring chances in overtime as well, but could not capitalize.
Spencer's goal came in the 14th minute and gave the Musketeers the early advantage. The forward found himself alone with a defender and beat the Wildcats' goalkeeper to the top left for the 16th goal of his career. Junior midfielder Matt Walker was credited with the assist on the score.
Spencer and Walker each had three of the Musketeers' 12 shots taken on the night. Five of those shots were on goal. Northwestern had 19 total shots and seven on target.
It was a fairly even game with both clubs' defenses flexing their prowess. Xavier did have a few opportunities to add an insurance goal throughout the match. Junior midfielder Gino De Paoli settled a cross inside of the 18-yard box but missed just wide in the 56th minute. Spencer missed an open header in the 78th minute.
Outside of the penalty kick, Xavier's defense was sharp limiting Northwestern going into the overtime periods. The Wildcats had just four shots on goal, all of which were cleaning handled by XU senior goalkeeper Justin Marshall.
Marshall (0-0-1) played all 110 minutes in goal for the Musketeers making six saves, three of which came in extra minutes. Wildcats' goalkeeper Tyler Miller also lasted the entire length making four saves.
The Musketeers open their home slate against Wright State on Aug. 28. That game will be aired live on GoXavier.com beginning at 6:45 p.m. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.