Luke Spencer and his teammates celebrate with the Xooligans after scoring in the first half.
Sept. 2, 2012
CINCINNATI - The No. RV/24 Xavier men's soccer team ended a drought by beating in-town rival Cincinnati, 2-1, for the first time since 2004 and did so while playing the Crosstown Derby in a heavy rain brought on by the remnants of Hurricane Isaac.
Rain from the tropical storm started prior to kickoff but intensified seconds after Spencer put the Musketeers ahead in the 31st minute. Junior midfielder Matt Walker corralled a long pass from Will Walker and crossed to Spencer who had an easy touch to the far post.
Cincinnati used the wild conditions to its advantage, quickly playing down the field and finding the equalizer from Matt Bahner. The shot was made just in front of the defender and hit senior goalkeeper Justin Marshall's stretched out arm before finding the net.
Monsoon like rains continued to battered the Xavier University Soccer Complex and its record-breaking crowd as the teams played out the remainder of the half. The match was suspended at halftime due to lightning and would not resume until it had cleared the area.
The long wait gave Xavier the advantage coming out of the break, but not before a Bearcat shot hit off the cross bar. It was on the clearance of that scoring threat where Will Walker would score the game-winning goal in the 47th minute.
Spencer battled away a ball from Cincinnati in the corner and raced into the top of the 18-yard box. He shuffled a pass to Will Walker, who collected the ball and beat four defenders, before pulling the trigger.
The Musketeers controlled the remainder of the second half, with lengthy possession and numerous other scoring attacks.
Xavier ended the night holding advantages in shots (20-12), shots on goal (8-2), and corner kicks (10-0). The Musketeers also committed three fouls while the Bearcats were whistled for 13 fouls, including a yellow card issued to Richardo Israel in the 40th minute.
Despite allowing the goal Marshall (2-0-1) earned the victory for Xavier and made one save. Taylor Hafling was the goalkeeper of record for Cincinnati. He finished the night with six saves. Both goalkeepers played the entire 90-minute match.
Spencer is currently leading the Atlantic 10 in points and goals after scoring three times during the two-game homestand. He ended the night with four total shots and three on goal. Matt Walker had two shots on goal to go along with his second assist of the year. Zach Petterson had three shots to lead the Bearcats.
Attendance at the match was 1,218 despite the threat of weather and annual firework display downtown. The new mark surpassed the all-time mark (1,213) set against Akron this spring and the regular-season record (1,151) established in 2010 against Cincinnati.
The Musketeers look to continue their winning ways when they travel to IUPUI on Wednesday night. Xavier returns home on Sunday to play Milwaukee.