Men’s soccer kicks-off conference play with win

By: Kyle Tooley ~Sports Editor~

Photo courtesy of | Matt Vasquenza (above) after scoring a goal last season. He has three points so far in 2016.

Following a victory over Cincinnati and loss to Louisville, the Xavier men’s soccer team kicked off its 2016 Big East campaign with a win over DePaul on Saturday. The 1-0 victory put the Musketeers at 3-2-2 on the season.

Xavier’s win over the Bearcats saw the scoring come in bunches, as the Musketeers faced a 2-0 deficit before scoring four straight goals.

35 seconds after Cincinnati pushed its lead to 2-0, junior Matt Nance cut the Bearcat advantage to one with his first goal of the season. Senior Jalen Brown finished on his second goal for the equalizer, and senior Todd Pratzner and freshman Derrick Otim tallied their first and third goals of the season, respectively, in the final seven minutes to bury the Bearcats.

Xavier traveled to Louisville having not lost a game in two weeks to match up with a Cardinals team ranked anywhere between No. 24 and No.13 in the country, depending on the poll. The Musketeers would eventually fall 2-0.

Despite keeping the Blue Demons from recording a shot on goal or a corner kick for the entire 90 minutes, Xavier needed an 81st minute goal from redshirt senior Majed Osman to top DePaul. The goal, which came off a penalty kick, was good for Osman’s first strike of 2016.

The Musketeers are on the road for their next three games, as they’ll be in Washington, D.C., to take on Georgetown on Sept. 24, at Providence on Oct. 1 and in Cleveland for a non-conference matchup with Cleveland State on Oct. 4.

The Musketeers finished fourth in the conference last season, having won five games against Big East opponents.

They have been receiving strong play from redshirt junior Walker Andriot, whose three assists are good for second in the conference, as well as Otim, whose three goals put him in a tie for eighth in the Big East.