The Musketeers will host the Big East Tournament semi-final and finals matchups
By Jake geiger, staff writer
Xavier women’s soccer clinched the top seed in the Big East Tournament after two wins over Butler and UConn. The Musketeers head into the tournament with a record of 16-1-1 and a program-best ranking at No. 15 in the country according to this week’s United Coaches National Poll.
Xavier opened last week with a home game against the strong Butler Bulldogs. Butler came into the match ranked third in the Big East with a record of 12-2-1. Xavier started the action early with a goal in the 12’ minute from freshman forward Chloe Netzel. This made it her sixth of the season, assisted by fellow forward sophomore Sonia Vargas.
Xavier held that lead into the half and quickly strengthened it by adding another goal in the 59’ minute from freshman midfielder Ella Rogers. Rogers now has four goals on the season.
Xavier held Butler scoreless until the 89’ minute when sophomore Bulldog Alli Leonard capitalized off a corner kick from junior forward Anastasia Savich to make it 2-1. Xavier held their ground for the remaining few minutes to capture the victory, improving their record to 15-1-1. Senior goalkeeper Olivia Jenkins made five saves out of six shots on goal. Senior defenders Grace Brauer and Hayley Jakovich played all 90 minutes in the win.
Xavier capped off their season in Storrs, Conn. with a showdown against the UConn Huskies at Morrone Stadium.
Xavier secured their game-winning goal early in the 6’ minute — as junior forward Emma Marcus crossed it to Vargas to make it 1-0.
This lead would hold up for the rest of the game as Xavier’s defense stifled the Huskies’ attack, allowing no shots on goal for the first 70 minutes. UConn only finished with two shots on goal the entire game, and Jenkins earned her 10th shutout of the season to lead the nation.
With this win, the Musketeers finish the regular season at 16-1-1 and 9-1 in the conference. They also earned home field advantage in the Big East Tournament, as they will host the semifinals and finals at Corcoran Field.
Xavier’s first Big East Tournament matchup will take place next Thursday. Their matchup will be between the winner of the No. 4 and No. 5 seeds in the Big East Tournament, who will be decided tonight. Currently, St. John’s and Providence hold the No. 4 and No. 5 seeds.