Men's Soccer Heads To The City Of Brotherly Love To Face Villanova

Senior Nick Hagglund

Senior Nick Hagglund

Nov. 1, 2013

CINCINNATI – The Xavier men’s soccer team, riding a five-game winning streak, will travel to Philadelphia, Pa. to take on the Villanova Wildcats on Saturday (Nov. 2). The match is slated to start at 3:00 p.m. at Villanova’s West Campus.

Game No. 17: Xavier (9-5-2, 5-2-0 BIG EAST) vs. Villanova (8-7-1, 3-4-0 BIG EAST)
Coaching Matchup: Andy Fleming (45-20-15 at XU) vs. Tom Carlin (52-48-14 at Villanova)
All-Time Series: 1st Meeting | Date: Nov. 2, 2013 | Time: 3 p.m.
Venue: Villanova Soccer Complex | Philadelphia, Pa.
Live Stats: | Live Video: Nova Nation All-Access

Senior Matt Walker (Batavia, Ohio/Batavia) scored a pair of goals to lead the Xavier men's soccer team to a 2-1 win over Providence on Saturday night (Senior Day) to extend their winning streak to five games.

With the win, the Musketeers improved to 9-5-2 overall (5-2-0 BIG EAST), while the Friars fell to 9-4-2 overall and 4-3-0 in BIG EAST play.

In the first-ever meeting between the two programs the Musketeers jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead thanks to a pair of goals from Matt Walker. Walker's first tally came at the 3:48 mark when fellow senior Andy Kaplan (Columbus, Ind./Columbus North) found Walker to give XU a quick 1-0 lead. About 20 minutes later, Walker finished a pass he corralled from senior Gino De Paoli (Highland Village, Texas/Marcus) and put the Musketeers in front 2-0.



In the second half, the Friars put an end to Xavier's shutout bid when Mac Stevens scored his first goal of the season at the 53:36 mark. The Musketeers went on to hold off Providence and pick up the huge conference victory.

The Blue and White finished with a 14-8 advantage in shot attempts and an 8-3 edge in shots on goal. Xavier goalkeeper Eric Osswald (Powell, Ohio/Olentangy Liberty/USF) picked up his ninth win of the season, while registering a pair of saves in 90 minutes between the pipes.

On the year, the Musketeers have netted 25 goals, allowing 16 scores with a 1.00 goals-against average. XU has been led offensively this season with seven goals from senior Matt Walker and five from redshirt junior Will Walker (Batavia, Ohio/Batavia). Matt Walker also leads the team with seven assists on the year. Between the pipes, senior Eric Osswald has racked up 53 saves and five shutouts in 15 games.

Villanova has won four matches and posted four shutouts in their last five outings. The Wildcats have also surrendered just two goals during that stretch. Meanwhile, in their last five outings, the Musketeers have won five straight, scoring twelve goals and allowing only three.

Through games played on Oct. 27, Matt Walker ranked 14th in the nation and tied for 1st place in the BIG EAST in assists per game (0.50), while also ranking 16th nationally and No. 3 in the conference in total assists (7). He also ranks 18th nationally (1.50) and No. 2 in the conference in points per game (1.50).

Saturday will be an important day for BIG EAST teams looking to improve their seed or lock down a slot in the 2013 Conference Championship, which begins Nov. 12. The Wildcats are 3-4-0 in BIG EAST action, tied with Seton Hall and Butler for the sixth and final spot to the conference championship. Xavier, meanwhile, enters Saturday's action one point behind BIG EAST leaders Georgetown and Marquette, each of whom has accumulated 16 points via a 5-1-1 league mark. The Musketeers, who downed Providence 2-1 at home last Saturday, are still in the chase for the league title as well as a first round bye as one of the top two finishers.