Senior John McDermott scored his second game-winning goal in as many games.
Oct. 23, 2013
CINCINNATI – A trio of seniors scored a goal apiece to lead the Xavier men’s soccer team to a 3-0 shutout of Seton Hall on Wednesday night to extend their winning streak to four games and move closer to securing a spot in the BIG EAST Tournament.
With the win, the Musketeers improve to 8-5-2 overall (4-2-0 BIG EAST), while the Pirates fall to 6-7-2 overall and 2-4-0 in BIG EAST play. The win also snapped SHU’s two-match winning streak.
“This was an impressive win for us because we stayed within our system, played within ourselves and capitalized on three scoring chances,” said head coach Andy Fleming. “Each of the three goals were scored by seniors as we got off to a good start, dodged a few bullets to close the half and then had decent command of the second half.”
In the first-ever meeting between the two programs it was the Musketeers getting on the scoreboard first as senior John McDermott (Brookfield, Wis./Marquette University HS) corralled a long pass from classmate Nick Hagglund (Cincinnati, Ohio/Lakota West) and beat Seton Hall keeper Julian Spindler with an effective shot off his left boot.
XU controlled the beginning of the game, outshooting Seton Hall 6-0 before a Pirate attack to end the half nearly resulted in a tie game before the intermission.
Xavier scored in the 69th minute to extend the lead to 2-0, when senior Matt Walker (Batavia, Ohio/Batavia) showed some impressive footwork and shook free of multiple defenders to net his fifth goal of the season. The Musketeers tacked on a third score in the 85th minute of the contest when senior Gino De Paoli (Highland Village, Texas/Marcus) finished on a free kick that hit the bottom of the cross bar and deflected into the net.
The Blue and White finished with a 9-7 advantage in shot attempts and a 5-2 edge in shots on goal. Xavier goalkeeper Eric Osswald (Powell, Ohio/Olentangy Liberty/USF) picked up his eighth win and fifth shutout of the season, while registering a pair of saves in 90 minutes between the pipes.
“We dressed just 12 healthy field players and really had to get creative with our lineup at times” stated Fleming. “This group is really gelling well and its nice for them to see some fruits of their labor after a tough start. Next up is a hot Providence team on senior day. It’ll be a special day for six seniors who came to Xavier with me in 2010 and are looking to finish their careers on a high note.”
The Musketeers return to action on Saturday, Oct. 26 (7 p.m.) when they host Providence in the final regular season home match of the 2013 season. A Senior Day ceremony for the Blue and White’s seniors will take place prior to the start of the game.