By Will Lopes, Staff Writer
Xavier men’s soccer ranks 13th in the United Soccer Coaches Top 25 as the NCAA soccer season draws nearer to a close.
In the most recent ranking from Oct. 11, Xavier moved down one spot to 13th place. Twelfth place was taken by Vermont, who moved up three spots in the rankings in the past week.
Xavier is the highest-ranking team in the state of Ohio and the only team in the Big East conference that has made the rankings this week.
The ranking was announced before a home game against Creighton last Tuesday when the Musketeers beat the Bluejays 3-1. This score will most likely fortify Xavier’s 13th place and could bolster the Muskies to an even higher ranking.
Xavier’s goalkeeping excelled throughout the game, with redshirt junior goalkeeper Cole Jensen making a total of 10 saves and letting one goal in on a penalty kick. The Musketeers went into halftime losing; Creighton’s lone goal came in the 19th minute, and Xavier had not scored any.
Xavier turned it around at halftime, though, with three goals from graduate student defenderKendal Allen, graduate student forward Alejandro Steinwascher and redshirt junior midfielder Cameron Phillips. Phillips netted his first goal of the season.
On Saturday, the Muskies played a grueling away game at DePaul. The Blue Demons came out of the day with one point despite a harsh Xavier attacking front. With over twice as many shots as DePaul, a 1-1 draw devastated the Musketeers. In the 69th minute, Xavier went down 1-0 but answered back eight minutes later with a strike from freshman midfielder Alvaro Heredia.
With three games left in the season, the men’s team remains undefeated. Their record currently stands at nine wins, zero losses and four draws. They have yet to play three Big East conference games against Georgetown, Providence and Butler.
The Musketeers are currently tied atop the Big East table with Seton Hall and Georgetown. Each squad has 13 points, and Georgetown boasts the most conference wins with four.
Xavier’s last three games will be crucial to achieving the regular season title and securing the best spot possible in the Big East playoff tournament, which starts on Nov. 5. The Musketeers have never won a conference playoff tournament, although they did finish runner up to Providence in 2014 and Georgetown in 2017.
Xavier has one home game remaining and will travel to face Georgetown and Butler in the coming weeks. The home closer will take place on Oct. 29 at 7 p.m. against the Providence Friars.