Musketeers Defeat Div. II National Champion NKU, 1-0; Draw with Wright State

Luke Spencer scored for the Musketeers on a breakaway against NKU.
Luke Spencer scored for the Musketeers on a breakaway against NKU.

April 4, 2011

CINCINNATI - The Xavier men's soccer team took the pitch Friday night for the first time this spring and looked sharp in its 1-0 victory over defending Division II National Champion Northern Kentucky. The Musketeers played to a 0-0 draw against Wright State in a lightning-shortened second game.

Both games were scheduled 40-minute games and were played at Corcoran Field at the Xavier University Soccer Complex.

"Friday night's games were only good enough for the first time out," head coach Andy Fleming said after the team's championship banquet on Sunday. "We were fairly organized, but definitely not where we want to be technically. We had a few nice three-man combinations from our front players at certain times."

One of those combinations found Luke Spencer, who scored the Musketeers' goal in their victory over the Norse. The sophomore, who garnered All-Mid-Atlantic Region Second Team honors in 2010, slipped behind the defenders and finished the breakaway.

The Musketeers second game was cut short just after lightning was spotted in the area. In that game freshman Gino Depaoli struck a 10-yard shot that hit the left post, crossed the front of the box and then hit the right post before being cleared.

Later in the game, newcomer, Will Walker drove a shot from the far corner of the net, where the Raiders goalkeeper made a tremendous diving stop to keep the game scoreless. With 12 minutes remaining lightning was spotted in the area, cutting the game short.

"We saw two different systems, with NKU pressing us and WSU using more of counterattacking system," Fleming said. "We handled what NKU did very well but took a little longer than I would have liked to solve WSU. Had the game continued I think we would have further developed our rhythm in the attack."

The Musketeers opened their spring schedule as the defending Atlantic 10 Champions. Sunday players from the 2010 squad received their championship rings as part of a ceremony honoring the season.



Fleming said Friday's results were a nice start to the spring but said the Musketeers will face two collegiate powerhouses in the upcoming spring games. Xavier faces Butler at 5 p.m. Friday in the NKU Classic and then faces Akron, who won its first NCAA men's soccer championship last year.

"We certainly have our work cut out for us in the next few weeks with Butler and Akron and will work hard in the upcoming days preparing to meet the demands of these two fine opponents."