Garrett Halfhill and the Xavier defense will be tested on Sunday.
RV/22 Xavier (3-0-1) vs. Milwaukee (3-1-0) Sunday, Sept. 9 | 1 p.m. ET Cincinnati, Ohio | Xavier University Soccer Complex Live Stats: Gametracker Live Video: GoXavier.com All-Access In-Game Tweets: @XavierGameDay
CINCINNATI - The nationally-ranked Xavier men's soccer team returns home to host Milwaukee on Sunday at the Xavier University Soccer Complex. The match begins at 1 p.m. and will also be streamed live on GoXavier.com's All-Access.
Xavier Musketeers (3-0-1) The Musketeers have won three-straight matches after a heartbreaking draw to Northwestern in the season opener. Xavier dispatched of IUPUI, 3-1, on Wednesday and return home where they are 7-1-1 since 2011. Last week the Musketeers picked up 2-1 victories over Wright State and Cincinnati at home.
Senior forward Luke Spencer earned numerous honors for his two goals and assist last week. Spencer leads the Musketeers with four goals and one assist on the year. Junior midfielder Matt Walker has two scores and midfielders Gino De Paoli and Will Walker each have one goal. Xavier is averaging 2.00 goals per game and 17.2 shots.
All-American candidate Nick Hagglund and the defensive unit have been uncharacteristic having allowed a goal in each of the Musketeers' four matches. Goalkeeper Justin Marshall sports a 0.95 goals against average coming into the contest. Opponents are averaging 13.8 shots against the Musketeers this season.
Milwaukee Panthers (3-1-0) The Panthers are winners of three straight having picked up a 3-2 victory over IUPUI and 2-0 wins against Eastern Illinois at last weekend's Panther Invitational. Milwaukee also has a victory over Northern Kentucky on the season. The only loss of the season came to an undefeated Marquette team in the last second of regulation in the season opener. The Panthers are ranked 45th in the TopDrawerSoccer.com national poll.
Sophomore Laurie Bell, the Horizon League Offensive Player of the Week, leads Milwaukee with three goals and an assist. Freshman Declan Rodriguez has two goals and four other Panthers each have one tally. Offensively the Panthers pack punch averaging 2.25 goals per game and 21.8 shots.
Goalkeeper John Shakon leads a defensive unit that concedes 1.50 goals per game. Opponents average just 10.8 shots per game.
Series History Sunday will be the fourth meeting between these two teams and the first since Sept. 16, 2000. The Panthers hold the all-time series lead (3-0-0) having won the last two matches by a goal. Xavier hosts the series meeting for the third time.
National Rankings With their two victories last week the Musketeers moved up one spot to 23rd in the Soccer America national rankings and received 15 votes in the NSCAA poll. Soccer Times has the Musketeers 28th in their most recent poll and TopDrawerSoccer.com has Xavier ranked 31st. The Musketeers maintained their hold on the second spot in the NSCAA Mid-Atlantic regional rankings behind Charlotte.
Last Match Xavier picked up a 3-1 victory over IUPUI on Wednesday to earn its first road victory of the season. Junior Gino De Paoli gave the Musketeers a 1-0 halftime lead with his first goal of the season. With the game tied midway through the second half junior Matt Walker tallied back-to-back goals in five minutes to give Xavier its fourth all-time win against the Jaguars.
Spencer's Honors Last week was a career week for Spencer who earned two spots on the national teams of the week and his third-career Atlantic 10 Player of the Week honor. The Cincinnati native posted three goals and a game-winning assist in matches against Wright State and Cincinnati. College Soccer News and Soccer America both named Spencer to their respective national team of the week. He currently leads the Atlantic 10 in goals, goals per game, and points.