Xavier soccer prepped for season (Pt. 1)

Photo courtesy of pickinsplinters.com | Cory Brown (No. 5) looks to have a stellar senior season for Xavier.

The Xavier men’s soccer team lost a close exhibition match 2-1 to the No. 7 Indiana Hoosiers on Monday Aug. 14, and then tied the Duke Blue Devils on Thursday, Aug. 17, moving them to 1-1-1 in preseason play.

The Hoosiers, who went 12-2-7 last season, struck first and took a 1-0 advantage going into the half. Senior forward Matt Vasquenza hit paydirt in the 73rd minute to tie it, but the Hoosiers were able to pull ahead in the final minutes. The Hoosiers held advantages in shots (7-2) and corner kicks (8-1), but the Musketeers held an advantage in saves (4-1). Because this was an exhibition game, no official stats were recorded.

“We put a game like this on our schedule to measure ourselves against a top 10, mature team in a road environment,” head coach Andy Fleming said after the loss. “As much as we play to win, I think learning lessons and seeing the demands of the game at a premium is what it’s about and it’s what we got tonight.”

The Musketeers closed out the exhibition schedule against Duke at the Shindigz National Soccer Festival with a 1-1 draw after a 20-minute overtime period. Both goals were scored on penalty kicks, with the Musketeers’ coming in the first 10 minutes off Vasquenza’s foot. Duke scored its penalty kick after halftime. Despite the draw, the Musketeers held an advantage in shooting 15-6. Xavier also took more corner kicks than the Blue Devils 12-5.

Senior defender Cory Brown was awarded preseason All-Big East team honors and was one of two players to be unanimously selected.

He has earned that honor every season and was the preseason and postseason Big East Defender of the Year in 2016.

The Musketeers are looking to improve on last year’s .500 season, where they went 8-8-3. They also went 4-4-1 in conference play.

Xavier hopes to continue to keep its strong play at home, where it went 6-2-2 last year, and improve on the road, where it went 2-6-1. The Musketeers were ranked No. 6 in the Big East coaches poll this preseason.

The regular season begins on Friday against the Loyola Chicago Wolves at the XU Soccer Complex at 7:30 p.m.

Click here to read Pt. 2.

By: Jack Dunn ~Staff Writer~