Late game letdown on defense results in tie for men’s soccer

By Ryan Hulligan, Staff Writer

On Sunday, Xavier men’s soccer took the field with hopes of keeping their four-game winning streak alive. Unfortunately, those hopes fell just short, as the Musketeers tied Seton Hall in their first Big East game of the season. Xavier entered the game ranked as the number 24 team in the country.

As expected, both teams came out intense. Not many shots were taken initially, with several fouls committed by the Musketeers, along with two offsides penalties from Seton Hall keeping either team from the goal box. For nearly 40 minutes, the game was scoreless but that changed when Xavier graduate student midfielder Cameron Wheeler scored his first goal of the year for the Musketeers on an assist from sophomore midfielder Fabrizio Bernal De La Garza. A few minutes later, Wheeler took another shot, only to have it saved by the Pirates’ goalie. That was it for the first half.

The start of the second half wasn’t much different from the first. Both teams came out of the locker room playing aggressively. The foul count for this game ended at 15 committed by Xavier and 16 committed by Seton Hall. Again, As the Pirates were longing for a goal,they were caught offside several times. There were a few times they got through to the goal, but redshirt junior goalkeeper Cole Jenson came in clutch with multiple key saves. About 30 minutes into the second half, the Musketeers drew a foul near half-field. Wheeler stepped up to take the freekick, sailing it just to the right of the goal. Right on cue, senior defender Makel Rasheed was able to get his head on the ball, directing it right into the box for Bernal to finish off the header into the side netting for his third goal of the year.

The 80 minute mark was a rough stretch for the Musketeers. 84 minutes in, Seton Hall put their first goal of the game in, making the score 2-1. Xavier’s tired legs showed through when the Pirates scored another goal 89 minutes in, just 30 seconds before the game ended with a 2-2 score.

The Musketeers look to get back to their winning ways against the University of Evansville on Tuesday at 7 pm in Indiana.