Xavier's Slipper Fits; Musketeers Win A-10 Championship
Nov. 14, 2010
CHARLOTTE, N.C.- The Xavier men's soccer team became the first No. 6 seed to win the Atlantic 10 Championship after defeating No. 2 seed La Salle 2-0, capping an improbable season and tournament run.
The Musketeers defeated the tournament's top three seeds for their first A-10 title, and receive the conference's automatic bid for the upcoming NCAA tournament, which begins Thursday. Xavier's opponent will be announced during the NCAA selection show, which airs on ESPNU at 4:30 p.m. Monday.
The Musketeers' goals were scored by James Getzen and Matt Walker. Goalie Justin Marshall recorded his third shutout of the tournament and was named All-Tournament Most Outstanding Player. He recorded 21 saves and set a tournament record with his three shutouts.
Getzen scored his goal in the 57th minute after receiving a long feed from Spencer. He took the ball to the left side of the box, switching the ball to his left foot and sneaking it to the right corner.
Walker netted the insurance goal, after Bryan Kanu's pass was deflected back to him. Kanu quickly turned and found Walker alone in front of the box. He chipped it over the goalie sealing the Musketeers' victory.
The Cinderella story began when head coach Andy Fleming was hired in December, and was challenged with the duty of turning around a program that had won five games in two years. The story built as the Musketeers battled injuries and adversity to start the season.
The run was extended on the last day of the season, when Xavier rallied to beat Fordham 2-1. They earned a tie-breaker over two other teams to grab the conference's last seed. Prior to the year, the Musketeers were picked to finish 13th in the A-10 out of 14 teams.
The Musketeers then defeated the top three seeds of the tournament on their way to the title. Xavier downed No. 3 Temple 1-0 in the opening round, No. 1-seed Charlotte in penalty kicks and No. 2-seed La Salle. The next chapter begins when the Musketeers play in their first NCAA tournament.
Xavier's defense, which set school records this year in shutouts and goals allowed, held La Salle's Ryan Richter, the A-10 Player of the Year, to just two shots. Just 10 days earlier, Richter scored three goals to lead the Explorers over the Musketeers.
Xavier lost out on the shot battle 13-9. Walker, Spencer and Gino Depaoli led the Musketeers with two shots each. La Salle's Dan Korenyi recorded a game-high three shots.
All of Marshall's three saves were leaping efforts. Marshall's (10-5-4) shutout was the ninth shutout of the season, which is one shy of doubling the old school record. Explorer goalie John McCarthy (9-4-3) made only one save.
The Musketeers' 10 victories double the total over the previous two years. Xavier won three games in 2008 and two games in 2009.