Men’s soccer team nets first win
Six matches into the 2013 soccer season, St. Xavier University’s men finally got to experience the thrill of victory.
And the Cougars did so because of something different: the scoring of multiple goals.
SXU had managed to tally just twice prior to last Tuesday night’s Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference encounter with the University of St. Francis and was shut out three times during that five-match span. Magnifying the paucity of potency was foes’ piling up of 19 goals.
But the roles got reversed this time, with the Cougars doing all the offensive damage in a 3-0 outcome at Bruce R. Deaton Field. Freshman defender Erik Diaz booted in two of SXU’s three markers, while sophomore forward Marco Gutierrez accounted for the other.
Senior defender Dale Judickas and junior midfielder Brandon Simoes were each credited with an assist, the former’s coming on a throw-in. Also significant was senior netminder Kyle Held, who made seven saves in his first action of the campaign.
Diaz wasted little time putting the Cougars in front, doing so in the eighth minute with an unassisted goal from about 40 yards out. Gutierrez’s header slipped past Fighting Saints keeper James Thorpe in the 29th minute to increase SXU’s edge to 2-0, a lead it carried into halftime, and Diaz tacked on his second tally in the 53rd minute on the heels of a Simoes corner kick.
The Cougars placed eight of their 13 total shots on goal, while USF was on target with all but three of its shots.
There would be no spillover of that revived offense into Sunday, despite the fact SXU put nine shots on goal.
None of those found its way into the Holy Cross net. Cougars keeper Held was nearly as stingy, but senior Niko Jelicic solved him in the 40th minute, and that lone marker held up as the difference in the Saints’ 1-0 CCAC win at Ganger Field in Notre Dame, Ind.
Holy Cross senior midfielder Garbhan Grant’s corner kick set up Jelicic’s score. The Saints tested Held seven times in all.
Judickas, junior midfielder Tom Lojek and junior forward Lorenzo Savino had the best chances to get SXU (1-6, 1-1) on the board, as each player registered two shots on goal. The Cougars took 13 shots in all, one less than Holy Cross.
SXU hosted Judson University in a CCAC match this past Wednesday at Deaton Field.
The Cougars were unable to secure their second straight tournament championship, but they did manage to grab third place at last week’s Chicago State University Invitational.
SXU shot a two-day score of 603 (299-304) to trail only Wisconsin-Green Bay (592; 298-294) and Texas Pan-American (598; 301-297) in the eight-team event. Among the NCAA programs the Cougars bested were Loyola University (606), Eastern Illinois (619) and the host school (620).
Senior Brendan Ryan and junior Kyle Bahnick both posted individual scores of 147 at Harborside Golf Course. Senior James Kerr carded a second-day 73 to finish at 150 overall.
Senior Kirby Brown was forced to withdraw because of injury after completing the fourth hole on Tuesday. Sophomore Zach Trent completed SXU’s scoring by firing a final-round 84.
The Cougars participated in the William Woods Fall Invitational this past Monday and Tuesday at Tanglewood Golf Course in Fulton, Mo.
WOMEN’S CROSS COUNTRY
Coming off a 17th-place finish in a field of more than 200 runners at the National Catholic Cross Country Invitational, Cougars senior Jordan Wallace was named the CCAC’s Women’s Cross Country Runner of the Week last Tuesday for the week ending Sept. 21.
Wallace clocked a time of 19 minutes, 9 seconds for 5K at the University of Notre Dame golf course. With Wallace’s performance leading the way, SXU wound up ninth in the 26-team non-NCAA Division I category.
“I’m so excited for Jordan, and she definitely deserves the honor after the nice race she ran,” Cougars coach Lisa Ebel said. “She is a very talented runner, and I hope she brings the same level of confidence that she displayed at this meet to all of our races the rest of the season.”
SXU continues its season on Saturday in the Greater Louisville Classic at E.P. Sawyer State Park.
MEN’S CROSS COUNTRY
Senior Brian Corcoran’s 14th-place finish topped the Cougars in last Friday’s Brissman/Lundeen Invitational at Saukie Golf Course in Rock Island. Corcoran completed the 8K men’s race in 25:38.2, and behind his leadership SXU placed seventh among 35 teams with 205 points.
The Cougars’ other four scorers ran within 38 seconds of one another. At the front of that pack was senior Brian Meyer, who reached the chute in 26:12.5, which was good for the 31st position overall.
Trailing close behind Meyer were sophomore Eric Hancock (41st in 26:21.3), senior Chris Sarna (58th, 26:34.2) and senior Chris Shellenberger (79th, 26:50.5). Even SXU’s non-scorers weren’t far off the pace, as junior Kyle Counter clocked a 26:53 and senior Shane Kenney ran a 27:07.4. The latter duo occupied the 82nd and 94th spots, respectively.
The Cougars resume action on Oct. 11 at the Bethel College Invitational. The meet will be held at St. Patrick’s Park in South Bend, Ind.
The effects of an 11-day break in the schedule weren’t entirely positive for the Cougars, whose offense couldn’t generate any goals upon a return to action last Wednesday.
SXU’s defense was solid enough, though, to keep visiting University of St. Francis at bay as well, at least through regulation and one overtime period. However, Fighting Saints senior midfielder Kaley Marciniak finally slipped a shot past Cougars keeper Alex Perry within the first two minutes of a second extra session, and the unassisted goal gave USF a hard-fought 1-0 CCAC victory at Deaton Field.
Before allowing the match’s lone marker, freshman Perry had made eight saves. The Saints fired off a total of 20 shots, compared to 11 for SXU.
Six of the Cougars’ shots did find their way to the net, but were turned aside. Junior midfielder Monica Chavolla and freshman Christina Sperando (Mother McAuley) both put two of their shots on target.
Perry was sharp again on Sunday, this time by stopping 10 Holy Cross shots. That performance resulted in her second career shutout and keyed a 3-0 CCAC victory for SXU at Ganger Field.
Freshman forward Mariana Hoerr gave Perry all the scoring support she’d need by booting home an unassisted goal in the 34th minute. The Cougars (3-4-1, 1-1) didn’t tally again until the second half, but junior Marissa Graves finally did so in the 55th minute, off a crossing pass from Sperando.
SXU’s last score resulted from an own goal by the Saints. The Cougars unloaded 17 shots on Holy Cross, with 11 of them requiring work from the Saints goalie.
No. 19-ranked Judson University visited SXU for a CCAC match this past Tuesday.
A big night by junior setter Kelli Shaffer propelled the Cougars to a 25-19, 25-15, 25-10 road win over Trinity International University in a CCAC match last Tuesday at the Meyer Sports Complex in Deerfield.
Shaffer’s output on SXU’s behalf included 24 assists, five kills, 15 digs, one service ace and an assisted block. Sophomore middle hitter Heidi Gregerson was also a positive factor, as she registered a team-best nine kills and match-high six assisted blocks.
Other Cougars of influence were junior middle hitter Marie Hackert (five kills with no attack errors, two total blocks), sophomore right-side hitter Megan Falsey (seven kills), junior outside hitter Jessica Galotta (seven kills) and junior libero Dominique Aramburu (15 digs). SXU produced a .435 team attack percentage in the third set to wrap up its victory in impressive fashion.
Falsey’s eight kills were instrumental in carrying the Cougars (7-6-1, 2-1) to their fourth consecutive triumph last Thursday. Behind her effort, SXU defeated Robert Morris University 25-16, 25-22, 25-16 at the Shannon Center.
Shaffer was also a pivotal performer for the Cougars as she finished with 28 assists, 11 digs and four kills. Pitching in as well to the win were Gregerson (five kills, five total blocks, match-high four aces), Hackert (seven kills, one solo block), sophomore outside hitter Cassidy Sponsler (six kills), Galotta (three kills, three aces, 10 digs) and Aramburu (match-best 19 digs).
As a team, SXU fashioned a .212 attack percentage, built off 33 kills and 11 hitting errors.
The Cougars squared off with Roosevelt University in another CCAC match this past Tuesday at home.
Not only is their strength in numbers, but sometimes awards are handed out to more than one person as well.
That was the case for the Cougars following their 41-10 victory over Robert Morris on Sept. 21. By holding the Eagles to 163 total yards, SXU’s defensive unit was honored en masse when Beyond Sports Network chose that group of Cougars as the recipients of its “Defense of the Week” award.
Other highlights of the Cougars’ prevention-side effort were six sacks and being able to hold Robert Morris without an offensive touchdown. The Eagles’ lone TD was generated by their defense via a fumble return.