Men’s soccer downs rival UC in Crosstown Derby

Newswire photo by Desmond Fischer | The men’s soccer team continued its success against the University of Cincinnati as Xavier defeated the Bearcats 3-1 last Friday. Junior goalkeeper Zachary Nelson (No. 1) continues to stymie opposing offenses.

The men’s soccer team defeated the University of Cincinnati (UC), 3-1, last Friday.

With the win, the team has gone unbeaten in its first four matches — the best start since the Musketeers began the 2012 season with a 14-match unbeaten streak, which serves as the program record.

The victory also extended Xavier’s unbeaten streak against UC to nine consecutive matches, going 6-0-3 in that span. However, the Bearcats still lead the all-time series 25-14-8.

The Musketeers struck first when graduate student Tomek Pauer scored his first goal in a Xavier uniform in the sixth minute of the match on a sequence that began with a corner kick.

Matt Nance, a graduate student in his fifth year at Xavier, and Simen Hestnes, a senior midfielder, were both credited with assists on the goal.

The rest of the first half went by without any more scoring from either side, and Xavier took a 1-0 advantage into the break.

The Bearcats were able to equalize the match in the 55th minute on a goal by Aerin West.
That was the first goal Xavier allowed this season, snapping a 364-minute streak of not allowing an opposing team to score.

The match remained tied for the next 24 minutes until redshirt junior forward Samson Sergi notched his first goal of the season in the 79th minute on an assist from Hestnes — his second of the match.

Xavier scored again in the 87th minute after Hestnes intercepted a pass and was able to finish a solo goal to give Xavier a 3-1 lead. Xavier held on in the last few minutes to secure the two-goal victory.

Hestnes’ goal was his fourth of the season, and he now leads the team in goals scored.

With Hestnes and Nance both recording at least one assist, the men’s team now has seven players who have registered at least one so far this season.

The balance in goal scoring has been equally impressive, with Sergi and Pauer bringing the total to six different players who have scored at least one goal.

This has been the story for Xavier’s offense since Andy Fleming took over as head coach in 2010. That story has helped him achieve a 94-48-26 record so far.

Redshirt sophomore goalkeeper Zachary Nelson continued his impressive season despite allowing his first goal of the year. He made four saves and kept his goals against average down at 0.27, which would be elite by any measure if he can maintain that mark.

Xavier begins its conference slate at Georgetown on Saturday against the Hoyas.

By: Donnie Menke | Staff Writer