Men's Soccer Welcomes Seton Hall To The XU Soccer Complex On Wednesday Night

Tanner Petrick

Tanner Petrick

Oct. 22, 2013

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BIG EAST Weekly Notes (Wk 8)

CINCINNATI – The Xavier men’s soccer team, riding a three-game winning streak, will battle the Pirates of Seton Hall on Wednesday night (Oct. 23). The match is slated to start at 7 p.m. at the XU Soccer Complex.

Game No. 15: Xavier (7-5-2, 3-2-0 BIG EAST) vs. Seton Hall (6-6-2, 2-3-0 BIG EAST)
Coaching Matchup: Andy Fleming (43-20-15 at XU) vs. Gerson Echeverry (12-18-2 at SHU)
All-Time Series: 1st Meeting | Date: Oct. 23, 2013 | Time: 7 p.m.
Venue: XU Soccer Complex | Cincinnati, Ohio
Live Stats: GoXavier.com
Promotion: BLUE OUT! – 1st 100 fans and 1st 200 Students (who check in through X-Pulse) will receive a ‘Be Part Of Something BLUE’ T-Shirt

RECAPPING THE LAST OUTING – AT ST. JOHN'S (Oct. 19)
Senior John McDermott (Brookfield, Wis./Marquette University HS) played the role of hero for the Xavier men’s soccer team on Saturday night, scoring his first goal of the season five minutes into the second overtime period to give the Musketeers a 2-1 win over St. John’s at Belson Stadium.

The win handed St. John’s their second home loss of the season. Coming into the matchup, St. John's was 7-1-0 at Belson Stadium this season and had posted a 43-8-9 (.792) record at home since 2008, including a 16-4-4 (.750) mark in BIG EAST play.

The Musketeers struck first in the 2nd minute, when senior Matt Walker (Batavia, Ohio/Batavia) found his brother, redshirt junior Will Walker (Batavia, Ohio/Batavia), who finished after a cross from the left side. The goal was Will Walker’s fifth of the season, which leads the team.

XU held the lead for the next 50:13 of game action. SJU then knotted the game at 1-1 after Sean Sepe found Jimmy Mulligan for the equalizer.   

The two teams played even for the final 27:56 of regulation and the game was sent into overtime. After 90 minutes of action, St. John’s outshot Xavier 12-8 and held an 8-3 lead in corner kicks.

After playing a scoreless first overtime period, the Blue and White needed just 4:59 of the second overtime to grab the win. Garret Halfhill (Virginia Beach, Va./Landstown) found McDermott from just outside the 18-yard box for the game-winning score. The goal was McDermott’s first of the year.

Xavier goalkeeper Eric Osswald (Powell, Ohio/Olentangy Liberty/USF) picked up his seventh win of the season and registered six saves in 105 minutes between the pipes.

The Blue and White were out shot by SJU, 14-10, and lost the corner kick battle to the Red Storm 8-4. XU managed four shots on goal while St. John’s had seven attempts on goal.

2013 SEASON
On the year, the Blue and White have netted 18 goals, allowing 15 scores with a 1.07 goals-against average. XU has been led offensively this season with five goals from redshirt junior Will Walker. Senior Matt Walker has registered four goals and seven assists on the year. Between the pipes, senior Eric Osswald has racked up 49 saves, which rank fourth in the conference, and four shutouts in 13 games.

SCOUTING SETON HALL
- The Pirates are coming off a four-match home stand in which they posted a 3-1 record. Additionally Seton Hall is 4-2 in its last six contests.

- With 23 goals this season the Pirates have already eclipsed last season's tally of 19 scores. It is the most goals for SHU in a season since it scored 24 in 2010.

- Senior forward George Velasquez was honored as the BIG EAST Offensive Player of the Week on Oct. 21, for his role in leading the Pirates to a pair of wins. He scored the game-winner in a 3-0 win over NJIT and netted two goals in a victory over DePaul. It is the first time in his career Velasquez earned the conference's weekly top offensive honor.

- The Pirates are currently 4-1-1 in contests with a nighttime kickoff and 2-5-1 in matches played during the afternoon.

ON THE HORIZON
After tonight’s match, the Musketeers return to action on Saturday, Oct. 26 when they host Providence in the final home match of the 2013 season. A Senior Day ceremony for the Blue and White’s seven seniors will take place prior to the start of the game.

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 17-3-3 over their last 23 home contests.

NATIONAL RANKINGS
Through games played on Oct. 20, Matt Walker ranked 8th in the nation and tied for 1st place in the BIG EAST in assists per game (0.58), while also ranking 11th nationally and No. 1 in the conference in total assists (7).

LOOKING AHEAD TO THE TOURNEY
If the BIG EAST Tournament began today, the Musketeers would be the No. 5 seed and would face No. 4 Butler to advance to the semifinals.