Five-game journey starts against Temple and Saint Joseph's.
Oct. 20, 2011
CINCINNATI - The Xavier men's soccer team begins a five-game road trip with a trip to Philadelphia to face Atlantic 10 foes Temple on Friday and Saint Joseph's on Sunday.
The Musketeers knocked off Richmond and George Washington last weekend by similar 2-0 scores to improve to 8-2-2 overall and 2-1-1 in the conference. Xavier is 3-1-1 away from its home pitch this season.
Temple is 6-6-0 overall and 2-1-0 in the league. Saint Joseph's has an overall record of 1-10-0 and 0-3-0 A-10 mark. Kickoff against Temple is set for 2:30 p.m. and 1 p.m. on Sunday versus Saint Joseph's.
Junior forward Luke Spencer continues to lead the Musketeers' attack with his team-high five goals. Sophomore midfielder Gino Depaoli scored Sunday against George Washington to give him four scores on the year. Brothers Matt Walker (3g, 2a) and Will Walker (1g, 6a) have been valued additions to Xavier this year.
Senior goalkeeper Ryan Engelmann stepped up in his first two starting roles of the year and led Xavier to back-to-back shutouts. Engelmann collected six saves in the two 90-minute efforts last weekend and has yet to allow a goal this season.
As a whole the Musketeers' defense has been solid, surrendering 0.75 goals per game and blanking their opponent six times.
The Owls have one of the higher powered offenses in the league, ranking third in goals per game (1.5). Averaging 13.2 shots per game, the Owls have scored three goals or more four times but have been shutout four times. Senior Tyler Witmer and junior Cody Calafiore lead Temple's attack with four goals each.
Temple gives up 1.67 goals per game, which ranks in the bottom half of the league. The Owls have three shutouts this season, including last Saturday's 2-0 win over Saint Joseph's. Sophomore goalkeeper Bobby Rosato has a goals against average of 1.65 and record of 6-6-0.
Goals have been hard to come by for Saint Joseph's this season. In 11 games the Hawks have scored eight goals this season and only three in the last eight games. Freshmen Alex Critzos (3g) and Jake Nelson (2g, 2a) led the Hawks in points (6) and are their only multiple goal scorers. Saint Joseph's averages 0.73 goals and 7.5 shots per game.
It has been a similar struggle on the defensive side of the ball for the Hawks, which allow the second highest rate of goals per game (2.45). The Hawks' defense faces 21.3 shots per game. Junior Andrew D'Ottavi has spent the majority of minutes in goal and sports a goals against average of 2.06 and 1-8-0 record.
Xavier knocked off both Temple and Saint Joseph's at home last year. The Musketeers beat the Hawks 2-0 and had a thrilling 2-1 double-overtime victory against the Owls. Xavier also beat Temple, 1-0, in the opening round of the 2010 Atlantic 10 Championship.