Sept. 13, 2012
CINCINNATI - The No. 24/19 Xavier men's soccer team, off to a 4-0-1 start, will travel to traditional powerhouse Virginia for the first-ever meeting between the two programs. The match will kick off at 7 p.m. from Klöckner Stadium in Charlottesville, Va.
Live stats will be made available at GoXavier.com.
No. 24/19 Xavier Musketeers (4-0-1, 0-0-0 A-10) The Musketeers are off to its longest unbeaten streak to start a season in program history heading into Friday's match. Xavier returned to the NSCAA top 25 after picking up two victories last week over IUPUI and Milwaukee. The only blemish this year was an overtime draw against Northwestern, who tied the game on a penalty kick with nine seconds remaining in the season opener.
Xavier's offense has been high powered so far this season averaging 2.2 goals and 17.4 shots per match. The Musketeers scored three goals in back-to-back matches last week for the first time since 2003. Senior Luke Spencer (6g, 2a) leads a Musketeer attack that includes sophomore Will Walker (2g, 3a), junior Matt Walker (2g, 3a) and junior Gino De Paoli (1g, 2a).
The Musketeers' defense has been uncharacteristic so far this season allowing one goal per match. Senior goalkeeper Justin Marshall sports a 0.99 goals against average and opponents average 13.0 shots per match.
Scouting Virginia (3-2-0, 1-0-0 ACC) Virginia, winner of six NCAA Championships, are off to a 3-2 start and picked up a convincing 6-1 win over Mount St. Mary's on Tuesday. Last Friday the Cavaliers opened ACC play with a 1-0 victory over Duke. Both of Virginia's losses this year came in overtime against nationally-ranked opponents.
Senior Will Bates (4g, 1a) leads the Cavaliers with four goals over their last two matches. Bates scored a hat trick in the first half against Mount St. Mary's. Freshman Zach Carroll and sophomore Chris Somerville each have two scores for a Virginia team that averages 2.0 goals and 10.4 shots per match.
The Cavaliers have relied on sophomore Spencer LaCivita in goal this year. He has a .789 save percentage and 0.86 goals against average. Opponents are scoring one goal per match and averaging 11.2 shots.
Last Match Xavier knocked off Milwaukee, 3-1, at home on Sunday to pick up its fourth victory of the season. Senior Luke Spencer cashed in a first-half goal and later scored the game-winning goal on a scramble inside of the penalty area. Sophomore Will Walker recorded his second goal of the season with a header from Spencer in the closing minute of action.
Moving On Up The latest weekly rankings have the Musketeers making strides after going 2-0 last week. Xavier moved up to No. 24 in the NSCAA poll and to No. 19 in the Soccer America poll. College Soccer News had the Musketeers at No. 20 and Soccer Times had Xavier at No. 23.
Spencer Leading The Way Senior forward Luke Spencer has scored six goals for the Musketeers this season and was tied for the national lead in goals as of Monday. He was also tied for the national lead in total points (14) and was tied for fourth in points per game (2.8) and goals per game (1.2). Spencer ranks 10th all-time in program history for goals (21), ninth all-time in total points (57), and is tied for seventh in assists (15). Last week he was named the College Sports Madness Atlantic 10 Player of the Week after posting two goals and an assist against Milwaukee.