handMen’s soccer draws tough test in Central Missouriful

By: Nikhil Jelaji

The Xavier men’s soccer team (2-3-2) tied the Missouri State Bears (4-1-1) in double overtime on the road on Saturday afternoon at Plaster Field.

The draw was the second overtime game for the Musketeers, both ending in a tie.

“This was a solid effort by us and we did well to get a shutout today,” head coach Andy Fleming said.

“We had a header taken off the line by their defender and missed a near breakaway in the second overtime, which despite a handful of shots is all we should have needed.”There were only a few scoring opportunities by the Musketeers throughout the contest, but despite their efforts, they were unable to get the ball in the back of the net. Xavier lost the shots battle with only three while Missouri State had 14.

Redshirt junior midfielder Will Walker almost guided a corner kick to freshman Todd Pratzner, but the pass was stopped by a Bears defender guarding the post.

The Musketeers had a final chance with three minutes left in the second overtime. Senior midfielder Matt Walker had a breakaway but unfortunately missed wide left of the goal from 15 yards out.

“We are unbeaten in our last four matches aside from our overall record (and we) are pretty happy with most of the aspects of our team, especially in the past two weeks.

“Our players are growing every day, aren’t satisfied and truly believe we will hit our stride at the right time. I like this group a lot,” Fleming said.

Senior goalkeeper Eric Osswald notched his second shutout of the season and recorded five saves against the Bears.

On Sept. 19 midfielder Matt Walker was also named Big East Conference Player of the Week for his performances in Xavier’s last two matches.

The Musketeers look to increase their unbeaten streak to five when they face crosstown rival Cincinnati at Gettler Stadium.

The match is at 7 p.m. on Sept. 25.