Soccer season ends after historic run

By: Brent Raines ~Staff Writers~

The men’s soccer team finished off the winningest season in the program’s history with its deepest run ever into the NCAA Tournament.

The Musketeers’ tournament run was highlighted by their home NCAA Tournament win against Monmouth in the first round and their 2-1 upset of the No. 5 seed, Indiana Hoosiers, in the second.

Xavier was eliminated in the third round of the NCAA tournament with a 2-1 loss to the No. 12 seed and Big East rival Creighton.

The Muskies finished with a 15-6-2 record, the most wins in program history.

The Musketeers hosted their first-round opponent Monmouth University on Nov. 20 for the first NCAA Tournament game hosted at the Xavier Soccer Complex.

The game certainly lived up to the hype. Redshirt senior midfielder Will Walker scored the first goal in the 14th minute, the fourth goal in his NCAA Tournament career.

Senior Matt Hill was an integral part of Xavier’s run through the tournament.

Monmouth tied it up 25 minutes later, with a corner kick leading to a goal.
The 1-1 tie would last until the 103rd minute in overtime, when junior midfielder Alex Ridsdale scored the golden goal off of a feed from freshman forward Matt Vasquenza.

Following the first round win, Xavier traveled to Bloomington, Ind., for a rematch of a 2012 NCAA tournament game against the Hoosiers on Nov. 23.

Two years earlier, Indiana beat the Musketeers 4-1 and went on to win an NCAA title.
Xavier struck first in the 29th minute, with Vasquenza scoring his team-leading seventh goal of the season and assists from freshman defenseman Cory Brown and senior defenseman Garrett Halfhill.

Indiana knotted it up five minutes later, when Big Ten Freshman of the Year defenseman Grant Lilliard rebounded a shot off of the post for a goal of his own.

The score was tied until the 74th minute, when Walker scored what would eventually be the game-winning goal on a penalty kick.

Freshman Matt Vasquenza celebrates a goal during Xavier’s run in the tournament.

The goal gave Walker his seventh score of the year, matching Vasquenza for the team-lead.
The soccer team’s historic season ended on Nov. 30 in Omaha, Neb. The third round match-up was a rematch of a game from Oct. 18, which ended in a 1-1 draw.

Big East Player of the Year midfielder Fabian Herbers struck first for Creighton in the 43rd minute, and Fernand Castellanos added to the Bluejay’s lead in the 62nd minute.

Xavier got on the board with a free kick goal from 40 yards out by Brown in the 70th minute, his third of the season.

The Muskies had chances at the end, including an 89th minute corner kick, but could not capitalize.

This ended perhaps the most successful season in Xavier soccer history.