Musketeers Set to Renew Rivalry with Flyers

Freshman Sara Schmidt leads Xavier in points (7) and is tied for the goals scored lead (3) after scoring two goals in Xavier's 2-1 win over Cincinnati.

Freshman Sara Schmidt leads Xavier in points (7) and is tied for the goals scored lead (3) after scoring two goals in Xavier's 2-1 win over Cincinnati.

Sept. 23, 2005

CONFERENCE OPENER:  Sunday's match is the Atlantic 10 Conference opener for both schools. Xavier, Dayton and the rest of the 14 Atlantic 10 Conference schools will play only nine A-10 matches this season. Among the 14 Atlantic 10 schools, XU will not play new  A-10 member Saint Louis, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Duquesne during the regular season. That is one of the reasons for the need to fill in an extra non-conference game at the end of XU's schedule with Eastern Kentucky on Saturday, October 29.


THE XAVIER-DAYTON SERIES:  Dayton leads the series 17-9-2, including wins over Xavier in each of the last six meetings. Dayton has won the last seven regular season meetings, including 1-0 at Xavier last year, with the last XU regular season win coming in the 1997 season (1-0 at Dayton on September 28, 1997). XU's last two wins over Dayton earned the Musketeers trips to the NCAA Tournament by way of Atlantic 10 Championships in 1998 at UD and 2002 at XU.


LOCAL FLAVOR TO THE ROSTERS:  The two teams boast 18 players from local area high schools, including 11 at Xavier. Xavier's probable starting lineup includes five former local prep stars:  Seniors Shawn Reynolds (Lakota West) and Angie Scarlato (Mother of Mercy), junior Amber Silvis (Western Brown), sophomore Karin Martini (Seton) and freshman Sara Schmidt (Taylor).


FOR THE RECORD (DAYTON):  Dayton, 4-2-2, has not lost a match to an Atlantic 10 Conference team in its last 21 matches, including 17 regular season matches. The Flyers, 20-0-1 over that span, last lost an A-10 match on October 19, 2003, 1-0 at Richmond. Dayton, which won the 2003 and 2004 A-10 Tournament Championships, hosts the tourney this year in Dayton on November 3, 4 and 6.


FOR THE RECORD (XAVIER):  Xavier, 4-4, is coming off wins this past week over Louisville (3-1 last Sunday) and at Cincinnati (2-1 in overtime this past Tuesday). Freshman Sara Schmidt scored a pair of goals, including the game-winner at 94:51, propelling XU to the overtime victory over Cincinnati. The victory was XU's first over the Bearcats since 1998, snapping a five-match losing streak to its crosstown rivals.


Junior Amber Silvis served a ball into the box on a corner kick, finding Schmidt, who headed the ball past a lunging UC goalie inside the near post for XU's golden goal. Xavier held a 17-16 advantage in shots, including 10-4 in shots on goal. Two of XU's seven shots that were not official shots on goal actually hit the crossbar and bounced out.


Cincinnati got the game's first goal at the 52:33 mark in the second half. Xavier answered less than eight minutes later. Freshman Maggie O'Neal, who had just checked back in the match about a minute earlier, served a perfect long pass to Schmidt, who drilled the ball in the back of the net from 20 yards out. The XU goal knotted the score up at 1-1 at the 60:48 mark. At 70:17, with just 19:43 left in regulation, a power outage on the UC campus turned the stadium dark. The teams waited through an 18-minute delay before resuming action. Xavier wasted little time going on the attack out of the break. Senior Angie Scarlato drilled a shot toward the goal at 70:50. For the second time in the match, Scarlato hit the crossbar and the ball bounced out. The two teams ended regulation play tied at 1-1.


IMPRESSIVE WIN OVER LOUISVILLE: Senior Angie Scarlato, freshman Melissa Zimmerman and sophomore Shannon Chambers all scored in Xavier's 3-1 win over Louisville last Sunday at Xavier.


OFFENSE LOOKS MORE EXPLOSIVE: Xavier has scored 13 goals through the first eight matches for an average of 1.63 per match compared with 17 goals in 19 matches last season for a 0.89 average.


SCORING BALANCE: Freshman Sara Schmidt leads Xavier in points (7) and is tied for the goals scored lead (3) after her two-goal match at Cincinnati. Senior Angie Scarlato and junior Amber Silvis are tied with six points each. Scarlato has three goals, while Silvis has two goals and two assists. Maggie O'Neal leads the team in assists with four, which equals the total by XU's team leader for the entire 2004 season (Nicole Giesting with four assists).


A BETTER START: Although Xavier, 4-4, has lost a couple of tough close matches in its new system, the Musketeers are improving and have scored

13 goals compared with 13 for the opposition. After eight matches last season, Xavier was 1-7 and had been outscored 23-7.


PLENTY OF STARTING LINEUPS: A total of 18 players have started at least one match through the first four games.

Ten of those 18 players are newcomers.


INJURIES HAVE HIT XAVIER HARD ON DEFENSE:  Two Xavier defensive starters suffered injuries in the Ohio State game on August 28 and are out of action. The two injured starters are junior Ashley Silvis and sophomore Allison Osborne. A third defensive starter, freshman Susan Loeffler (Ursuline Academy), was injured against Louisville and is also out of action.


NEW LEADERSHIP: Xavier University head coach Alvin Alexander is in his first year with the Musketeers. Alexander is in his first season as the school's first-ever full-time Women's Soccer Head Coach. Alexander came to Xavier after spending the past two years as the top assistant at the University of Notre Dame, helping guide the Fighting Irish to the 2004 National Championship.


OH CAPTAIN MY CAPTAIN: Xavier has senior tri-captains for the 2005

season:  Meredith Frendt (Westerville, OH), Shawn Reynolds (West Chester, OH) and Angie Scarlato (Cincinnati, OH).


LOOKING AHEAD FOR THE MUSKETEERS: Xavier continues the 2005 Atlantic 10 Conference season next weekend as the Musketeers host Temple on Friday at 7:00 p.m. and Saint Joseph's next Sunday at 1:00 p.m. Five of Xavier's nine A-10 regular season matches will be played at XU this season.