The Musketeers return all 11 starters from last year's 12-5-4 team.
Aug. 10, 2012
CINCINNATI - The Xavier men's soccer team opened up the 2012 campaign on Friday morning with the season's first practice. Under the direction of third-year head coach Andy Fleming the Musketeers return a team that won their second-straight Atlantic 10 Championship last season and look to become just the third active team in the league to capture three league titles in a row.
Last year's championship team finished 12-5-4, giving the Musketeers their best season of all-time. Over the last two seasons Xavier has won 22 games and is beginning to become a permanent fixture in numerous collegiate soccer polls. Earlier in the week Xavier was received votes in the preseason NSCAA Top 25.
Returning from last year's squad are all 11 starters that accounted for 26 of 31 goals and 35 of 37 assists. Among the top returners are senior forward Luke Spencer (7g, 6a), junior midfielder Gino De Paoli (6g, 7a), junior defender Nick Hagglund (1g, 3a) and senior goalkeeper Justin Marshall (0.89 GAA).
Goal scorers also returning for the Musketeers are junior midfielder Matt Walker (3g, 5a) and sophomore midfielder Will Walker (3g, 6a). Joining Hagglund, who was named to the NSCAA All-Mid-Atlantic First Team, are defenders senior Sean Ryan, junior Adar Cohen, and senior James Queree. This group helped Xavier set school records for goals against average and fewest goals allowed last season.
The Musketeers will play their first exhibition match of the fall against Marquette on Aug. 17 in Fort Wayne, Ind. The match will be played as part of the National Soccer Festival Preseason Tournament.
Xavier's regular season opens when they take on No. 20 Northwestern on the road.