By: Brendan Burris ~Staff Writer~
As the men’s and women’s soccer season nears its end, both teams have faced tough opponents and are looking to finish the season strong heading into the Big East tournament.
On Oct. 18, the men’s team took on the Creighton Blue Jays, who are ranked No. 6 in the nation.
This was a huge test for the men’s team that has been nearly overpowering this entire season.
After a 57th minute goal by freshman Matt Vasquenza, the Musketeers looked prime for a big conference win.
Confidence was high as Xavier took a second-half lead over the national powerhouse.
Creighton, however, was able to tie the game in the 82nd minute with a free kick from just outside the 18-yard box.
Xavier perhaps had become too complacent after finally succeeding in gaining an edge over Creighton.
The two teams headed into overtime, where the defense for both teams stood strong, and they headed into another competitive overtime period.
Xavier led the overtime in shots (3-1), but neither team was able to break through and the match ended in a 1-1 draw.
With his goal versus the Blue Jays and an assist earlier in the year against DePaul, Vasquenza was named Big East Rookie of the Week for the second time this season.
The Musketeers are now 9-3-2 on the year and 3-0-2 in the Big East with four games remaining in the regular season.
With this impressive tie against a nationally-ranked oponent, Xavier has not gone unbeaten in its last eight matches.
The Musketeers have crept up to No. 16 in the national rankings and continue to be a dominant force against conference opponents.
Xavier has finally seen national recognition after a long run of impressive play dating back to last season.
The team next plays at 7 p.m. on Nov. 1 against Villanova. After the end of the regular season, the Musketeers will head to Chester, Pa., for the Big East Championships, hosted by Villanova.
They will look to make a solid impact on their second conference final.
On Oct. 19, the women’s team hosted the Butler Bulldogs at the Xavier Soccer Complex, but was not able to come away with the victory, falling 2-1 in a tough matchup.
Butler scored the first goal just after halftime (47th minute), but Xavier was able to net the equalizer 5 minutes later (52nd minute).
Butler’s response goal was even quicker than the Musketeers, as they scored their second and final goal just 41 seconds later.
The team is now 3-11-3 on the year and 0-6-1 in the Big East, and has only two regular season games remaining.
The team looks to notch a couple of conference wins before the season ends.
Xavier plays DePaul on Oct. 25 in Chicago and it finishes its season on Oct. 31 against Creighton.
The women’s soccer Big East Championships will be played on Nov. 7 and 9 in Jamaica, N.Y., hosted by St. John’s.