Justin Marshall leads Xavier into battle against Thomas More on Thursday.
Sept. 26, 2012
CINCINNATI - The No. 19/15 Xavier men's soccer team faces Thomas More for the first time in nearly 23 years on Thursday at the Xavier University Soccer Complex for the final non-conference match of the season.
The match begins at 7 p.m. and was a late addition to the schedule after Butler's originally scheduled game on the date was lost due to conference realignment.
Scouting The Musketeers Xavier has scored at least once in eight-straight matches for the first time since 2004. Forward Luke Spencer (7g, 3a) continues to be the largest presence on offense. Midfielders Matt Walker (3g, 3a), Gino De Paoli (3g, 2a), and Will Walker (2g, 2a) provide the Musketeers with additional scoring threats. Xavier averages 1.88 goals per game. Goalkeeper Justin Marshall (0.72 gaa) recorded his 17th-career shutout and led Xavier to back-to-back shutouts against Missouri State and IPFW. Opponents are scoring 0.75 goals per match.
Scouting The Saints Thomas More has been to three-straight NCAA Division III Tournaments and is off to a 5-1-2 start. The only loss came to No. 9 Ohio Northern on Sept. 22 and was their only game without a goal this season. Kyle Troutman (5g, 1a) and Jake Plummer (4g, 4a) have driven the Saints' offense that averages 1.89 goals per game. Matt Kees (1.22 gaa) has worked the majority of the season in goal for Thomas More that allows 1.67 goals per match.
Xavier earned a hard fought 1-0 victory over visiting Missouri State on Saturday thanks to a late goal by junior Matt Walker. His goal came in the 81st minute after collecting a soft clearance inside of the Bears' penalty area. Senior goalkeeper Justin Marshall notched the shutout by making eight saves.
Series History Thursday's matchup against the Saints marks the sixth all-time meeting between the two local schools. Xavier faced Thomas More in its first ever NCAA match and has amassed a perfect 5-0-0 record. The last meeting occurred on Oct. 2, 1989.
Marshall Named To National Team Goalkeeper Justin Marshall was named to the TopDrawerSoccer.com National Team of the Week after leading the Musketeers to two shutout victories last week. The honor marks the second time in his career that he has earned TopDrawerSoccer.com and the fourth total weekly honor of his collegiate career. Marshall picked up his two shutout wins against IPFW and Missouri State. In total he made 10 saves including a season-high eight saves against Missouri State in 1-0 battle.
National Polls Xavier moved up four spots to No. 19 in the latest NSCAA/Continental Tire National Poll released on Tuesday. The new spot marks the highest ranking in program history and the third consecutive week that the Musketeers have been ranked in the Top 25. They had received votes in the season's first three polls. The Musketeers jumped to No. 15 in the Soccer America poll. In addition to its national ranking Xavier also was ranked first in the Mid-Atlantic region for the second-time in school history.
Unbeaten Streak Saturday's win against Missouri State made it eight-straight matches that the Musketeers have gone unbeaten. The other eight-match unbeaten streak came in 1992 when XU rattled off a 4-0-2 record. In addition, the Musketeers' hot start to the season is the longest program history.
Friendly Confines The Xavier University Soccer Complex continues to be a safe haven for the Musketeers who have gone 9-1-1 at home since the 2011 season. Xavier is a perfect 4-0-0 this year at home with wins over Missouri State, Cincinnati, Wright State, and Milwaukee.