Sophomore Matt Walker had a goal and assist for the Musketeers.
Oct. 9, 2011
CINCINNATI - The Xavier men's soccer team second conference game ended in a 2-2 draw, as the Musketeers were unable to protect two one-goal leads against La Salle at the Xavier University Soccer Complex on Sunday afternoon.
It was the second draw of the season for the Musketeers, who are now 6-2-2 overall and 0-1-1 in the Atlantic 10. The Explorers move to 3-6-2, and 1-0-1 in the conference after one weekend of league play.
"This was not the way we wanted to start the A-10 slate, especially at home. Give credit to La Salle for its resiliency and especially their goalkeeping," head coach Andy Fleming said. "To get 30 shots and not be able to put a winning goal away is tough, yet in some regards is out of our control."
"What's controllable is the two leads we had and the two corner kick goals we allowed on direct headers via soft marking. We have a lot of work to do on the mental fitness side of things and have a challenging, yet attainable goal of getting back into the playoff race as there's a lot of soccer left to be played. I like our team and am confident that we will respond on Tuesday. We will be back."
Junior forward Luke Spencer gave Xavier its first lead of the game with his fifth goal of the year in the 33rd minute. Midfielders Matt and Will Walker pushed the ball up field, covering 50 yards, before giving it to Spencer who had to slide to get the shot over the Explorers' John McCarthy to reach net.
La Salle evened the game at 1-all off its first corner kick goal from sophomore Kevin Pink in the 53rd minute. Jason Plumhoff put the ball in play and earned the assist, the first of two in the match for the sophomore.
Xavier countered with the go-ahead goal just 38 seconds later as the Matt Walker tallied his second goal of the year. Sophomore midfielder Andy Kaplan carried the ball to the top of the 18-yard box before dropping it off to redshirt freshman Will Walker. He slipped a pass inside to his brother, who used his body to position himself for the score.
The Musketeers weren't able to protect their second lead of the match for very long as they allowed their second corner kick goal, this one coming in the 56th minute. Plumhoff sent a ball back post where it found junior Jeff Pio, who flicked it past junior goalkeeper Justin Marshall for the score.
Fleming's squad had several chances to regain the lead and spent 51 minutes playing with a man advantage after La Salle's Mike Stanton was booked with a red card in the 59th minute. Matt Walker, sophomore Gino Depaoli and Spencer all had chances in the second half that were saved or went just wide.
Xavier's biggest chance came in the 102nd minute as DePaoli and Spencer had their shots blocked and saved, respectively, from inside the goal box.
Spencer had seven of the Musketeers' season-high 30 shots. DePaoli had five shots, and Will Walker and freshman forward James Weber each had four. DePaoli's four shots on goal led all players. La Salle had 14 shots with four players taking two apiece.
Marshall played just over 95 minutes and made four saves, but was replaced midway through the first overtime. Senior Ryan Engelmann (0-0-1) played the remaining time and earned the draw. McCarthy earned the draw for the Explorers and made 13 saves. His defense was credited with two saves.
Next weekend the Musketeers host Richmond and George Washington in what will be the final home games of the year. Xavier faces Richmond beginning at 7 p.m. on Friday and celebrates Senior Day against George Washington starting at 1 p.m. on Sunday.