Xavier Returns To Pitch With Home Opener Against Northwestern

Head Coach Andy Fleming and the Musketeers look to pick up win No. 1 of the 2013 season.

Head Coach Andy Fleming and the Musketeers look to pick up win No. 1 of the 2013 season.

Sep 6, 2013

The Last Meeting
Xavier1  
No. 20 Northwestern12OT
August 25, 2012
Evanston, Ill.
Xavier Settles For 1-1 Draw Against No. 20 Northwestern
The Xavier men's soccer team allowed a penalty kick goal with nine seconds remaining in regulation and eventually settled for a 1-1 draw against No. 20 Northwestern to open the 2012 season. Musketeers open home schedule on Tuesday against Wright State.

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CINCINNATI – The Xavier men’s soccer team will open its 2013 home schedule on Saturday when it welcomes in Big Ten foe Northwestern to the XU Soccer Complex for a 7 p.m. non-conference showdown.

Game No. 3: Xavier (0-2-0) vs. Northwestern (1-1-0)
Date/Time: Sept. 7, 2013  |  7:00 p.m. ET
Venue: XU Soccer Complex  |  Cincinnati, Ohio
Live Stats: GoXavier.com - GameTracker  |  Video Stream: Xavier All-Access

The Wildcats come into the match riding the excitement of a thrilling 1-0 double-overtime win over DePaul on Monday, Sept. 2. The Musketeers are looking to snap a two-game losing streak. XU fell to Furman 4-3 (2OT) and College of Charleston 1-0 in the College of Charleston Tournament.

XAVIER/NORTHWESTERN CONNECTION
Xavier head coach Andy Fleming, now in his fourth season, served as an associate head coach to Tim Lenahan at Northwestern, helping the Wildcats reach the NCAA tournament in each of his three years with the program. Under Fleming, the Musketeers have made three consecutive trips to the NCAA Tournament and won a pair of A-10 Conference titles (2010, 2011).

HOME COOKIN’
Last season, Xavier outscored the opposition 31-8 with four shutouts and finished with a 9-0-1 record on their home pitch. Dating back to the 2011 season, the Musketeers have gone 14-1-2 over their last 17 home contests and are currently riding a 13-match home unbeaten streak (11-0-2).

A LIL’ PRESEASON LOVE
The Musketeers have received plenty of preseason recognition from multiple outlets.

Xavier Men’s Soccer Preseason Awards (2013)
Team
No. 40 – College Sports Madness’ Top 44 Previews
No. 22 – 2013 College Soccer News Preseason Poll
Picked to finish 5th in the BIG EAST Preseason Coaches’ Poll

Matt Walker
Preseason All-BIG EAST
College Sports Madness BIG EAST Preseason All-Conference first team

Nick Hagglund
CollegeSoccerNews.com Preseason All-American first team
Named one of the top 10 defenders in the nation by TopDrawerSoccer.com
TopDrawerSoccer.com Preseason Best XI second team
Preseason All-BIG EAST
Top Drawer Soccer's Men's National Top 100 Upperclassmen – No. 17
National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) MAC Hermann Trophy Watch List
College Sports Madness BIG EAST Preseason All-Conference first team
2013 Senior CLASS Award Candidate
College Sports Madness Preseason All-American third team

LAST MEETING (Xavier at Northwestern; Aug. 25, 2012)
Northwestern and Xavier met in the 2012 season opener, and the game ended in an exciting 1-1 tie in double-overtime on Aug. 25, 2012 at Lakeside Field.

Forward Luke Spencer scored early in the first half for the Musketeers who were just seconds away from defeating the Big Ten regular and postseason champions.

Xavier committed a foul in the box giving the Wildcats an opportunity to tie the score with seconds to spare. Chris Ritter converted the penalty kick for Northwestern tying the match and sending it to overtime.

The Wildcats applied pressure in the overtime periods recording six shots and five corner kicks, but the resilient defense of the Musketeers withstood the challenge to earn the draw. The Musketeers mounted a few scoring chances in overtime as well, but could not capitalize.

Spencer's goal came in the 14th minute and gave the Musketeers the early advantage. The forward found himself alone with a defender and beat the Wildcats' goalkeeper to the top left for the 16th goal of his career. Midfielder Matt Walker was credited with the assist on the score.

Spencer and Walker each had three of the Musketeers' 12 shots taken on the night. Five of those shots were on goal. Northwestern had 19 total shots and seven on target.