Musketeers Conclude Home Schedule Against Dayton
Oct. 29, 2010
CINCINNATI - The Xavier men's soccer team concludes its home portion of the 2010 season Saturday evening as it plays host to Dayton. The seven players who will be playing their final game in for the Musketeers will be honored prior to kickoff, which begins at 5 p.m.
The Musketeers dropped both of last weekend's home games, pushing them to 6-5-3 overall and 3-3-0 in the Atlantic 10 conference. Xavier rallied late against St. Bonaventure, but ultimately lost 2-1 Friday. On Sunday, Duquesne defeated Xavier, 2-0.
"I can't think of a better opponent for senior night or a better opponent for us to get back on track against than Dayton," head coach Andy Fleming said. "Like any rival, they will bring out the best in us. With their recent success in the A-10, they are a team compete with as we pursue relevance in the league and within the state of Ohio."
Freshman Matt Walker leads the Musketeers' offense attack that has averaged.86 goals this year. Xavier's defense currently ranks 24th in the nation with an average of .74 goals against heading into the weekend. Justin Marshall mans the space between the pipes and has given up just 10 goals in nearly 1,250 minutes of play this season.
"Senior Day is always a special day and this year is obviously no different," Fleming said. "These young men have done a wonderful job of righting the ship and embracing change. They are true catalysts for us being in the thick of the playoff race in the final stanza of the season. Although they will move on next year, I think their fingerprints will be all over the blueprint as we continue to build the program into the future."
Two weekends remain in the Atlantic 10 schedule and currently six teams are tied with nine points, trailing Charlotte (15 points), Massachusetts (13) and Dayton (11). The top six teams advance to the conference championship held Nov. 11-14 in Charlotte, N.C. Having the edge in the standings with a head-to-head victory over the Xavier's remaining opponents (Dayton, La Salle, Fordham) will be crucial for the Musketeers.
The Flyers have won three in a row, all by shutouts to improve their record to 7-5-3 overall and 3-1-2 in the conference. Last weekend Dayton defeated Duquesne 2-0 and St. Bonaventure 1-0 at home. Tommy Watkins guides the Flyers attack, which is averaging 1.27 goals per game. Watkins has three goals and an assist on the year and will be joined by Evan McCreary and Marlon Duran. Tyler Picard will mind the net, and is averaging .69 goals against this year and has posted eight shutouts. The Flyers are giving up .73 goals per game this season.
Xavier will return to the road after Saturday's battle for their final games of the 2010 regular season. The Musketeers face La Salle at 3 p.m. on Nov. 5 and Fordham at 1 p.m. on Nov. 7.