Cougars men pick up another soccer win
Suddenly, that slow start seems as if it never occurred.
St. Xavier University’s men soccer team continued its recovery from some early season woes by powering its way past Trinity International University last Tuesday. Hours after being named the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference Men’s Soccer Offensive Player of the Week, sophomore forward Marco Gutierrez notched a hat trick and dished out an assist to help the Cougars defeat the Trojans 5-0 at Bruce R. Deaton Field.
The win was SXU’s fourth in its last five matches, all of which have been conference affairs. As a result, the Cougars are vying for first place within the CCAC.
Gutierrez, who booted home four goals in SXU’s recent victory over Judson University, began his latest scoring barrage in the 16th minute of play by collecting a goal off a deflected ball. He then tallied twice within a 12-minute span of the second half, off a Brandon Simoes assist and on a penalty kick.
Thanks to his latest eruption, Gutierrez is in the CCAC’s top 10 in both goals and points.
Simoes also set up the Cougars’ second marker, which senior midfielder James King provided just after Gutierrez converted for the first time. For good measure, Gutierrez passed off to Simoes late in the opening half, and the junior midfielder knocked in a shot that gave the hosts a 3-0 lead at that juncture.
SXU senior keeper Kyle Held made four saves en route to registering his third shutout in five matches.
Senior defender Yonda Abogunrin’s goal late in the second half snapped a scoreless tie and sent Olivet Nazarene University on to a 1-0 victory over the Cougars in a CCAC showdown for first place.
Saturday’s outcome at Deaton Field allowed the Tigers to take over sole possession of the conference lead. SXU (4-7, 4-2) trails Olivet by one in the CCAC standings. The loss was just the Cougars’ second in their last six outings.
Abogunrin scored on a header in the 82nd minute, a play set up by freshman midfielder Miguel Fierro’s throw-in. Five other on-target Tigers shots were stopped by SXU keeper Held.
Gutierrez had five shots to lead the Cougars, but none was among SXU’s four that were put on goal.
The Cougars faced Calumet College of St. Joseph this past Wednesday in the last of three straight home matches.
While the men have found their scoring groove for the most part, the Cougars women have fallen into an offensive funk.
SXU was kept off the scoreboard for the second straight time and wasted a superb effort by freshman netminder Alex Perry, who stopped 10 Trinity International shots last Wednesday at Deaton Field. The Trojans managed to slip one past her, however, and that lone tally pinned a 1-0 CCAC defeat on the Cougars.
Trinity sophomore forward Samantha Yasatan garnered her team’s goal in the 22nd minute, a shot set up by sophomore midfielder Morgan Elzinga. SXU finished with just four shots on goal.
Junior Morgan Graves’ penalty-kick goal ended a long scoring drought for the Cougars, but that marker in the 22nd minute was the only one SXU could manage Saturday against Olivet. As a result, the Tigers made off with a 4-1 CCAC win at Deaton Field.
The Cougars (3-8-1, 1-5), who had been shut out in their previous two matches, spotted NAIA No. 19-ranked Olivet a 2-0 edge before Graves tallied. Sophomore forward Elizabeth Hetrick notched both of the Tigers’ early goals as she scored in the seventh and 18th minutes.
After SXU sliced its deficit in half, Olivet responded with a pair of second-half goals to establish the final margin. Sophomore forward Elisabeth Wahl and junior forward McKenzie Hengesh found the back of the net for the Tigers in the 53rd and 68th minutes, respectively.
Perry stood tall between the pipes for the Cougars in a losing effort as she was credited with 11 saves.
SXU hosted Calumet College of St. Joseph this past Tuesday to conclude a three-match homestand.
WOMEN’S CROSS COUNTRY
Junior Leslie Rosario took sixth individually, and the Cougars rode that performance to a second-place team finish at Friday’s Bethel College Invitational in South Bend, Ind.
Rosario covered the 5K course at St. Patrick’s Park in 19 minutes, 21.8 seconds. Freshman Nicole Watkins followed Rosario down the chute in the No. 11 position, a spot garnered on the strength of a 19:45 run.
Two other SXU competitors managed top-20 showings, as sophomore Dana Martin (19:58.2) wound up 15th overall and senior Jordan Wallace (20:01.8) was 18th. Completing the Cougars’ scoring was sophomore Ann Kolker, who completed the race in 20:23.3, which was good for 30th place.
Delivering a solid effort as well for SXU was junior Ali Proffitt, who clocked a 20:47.1 and finished 39th. Seven Cougars in all posted season-best times, and SXU’s runner-up showing was its highest of the season to date. Only fellow CCAC member Judson University placed ahead of the Cougars.
SXU’s next event will be the NAIA Great Lakes Invitational, hosted by Aquinas College at Riverside Park in Grand Rapids, Mich., on Oct. 26.
MEN’S CROSS COUNTRY
Brian Corcoran’s 12th-place performance sparked the Cougars to a fifth-place team finish at Saturday’s NAIA Pre-Nationals Invitational, which was held at Rim Rock Farm in Lawrence, Kan.
A total of 30 squads and 272 runners took part in the event. Corcoran completed the 8K race in 25:28.3 and was just eight seconds behind the No. 7 finisher. SXU’s other scorers included sophomore Eric Hancock (27th in 26:04.3), senior Chris Shellenberger (58th, 26:39.7), junior Kyle Counter (61st, 26:41.5) and senior Chris Sarna (62nd, 26:41.6).
Also competing on the Cougars’ behalf were senior Brian Meyer (111th, 27:22.6), senior Shane Kenney (121st, 27:33.7) and freshman Abel Hernandez (141st, 27:52.7).
The only schools ahead of SXU (213 points) in the final standings were Aquinas College, Lewis-Clark, Shawnee State and Oklahoma Baptist. After taking this weekend off, the Cougars return to action at the Great Lakes Invitational in Michigan on Oct. 26.
Sophomore right-side hitter Meghan Falsey supplied nine kills, two service aces and 14 digs, but the Cougars couldn’t capitalize on her performance as they dropped a 33-31, 25-19, 25-20 CCAC verdict to Judson University last Tuesday night at the Lindner Fitness Center in Elgin.
Junior middle Marie Hackert added seven kills for SXU, while junior setter Kelli Shaffer totaled 18 assists, three aces and 17 digs. Also contributing in the losing cause was junior libero Dominique Aramburu, who had 18 digs.
The Cougars had their chances in the first set to gain some momentum as they led 22-17 and 24-22, but they were unable to finish off the Eagles.
Sophomore middle blocker Heidi Gregerson helped SXU (10-10) get back on track last Thursday, as her 11 kills, six total blocks and three aces led the way to a 22-25, 25-18, 25-18, 25-16 nonconference victory over Illinois Institute of Technology at the Shannon Center.
Junior outside hitter Jessica Galotta (Mother McAuley) was an able accomplice for Gregerson, even equaling her teammate’s number of kills. In addition, Galotta registered 16 digs and three assisted blocks. Hackert (10 kills, match-best seven assisted blocks), Shaffer (38 assists, seven digs, five assisted blocks) and Falsey (18 digs, six kills, four aces) were other principal figures for the Cougars, who posted a .394 attack percentage during the momentum-turning second set.
SXU is back in action tonight, again versus the Scarlet Hawks. The match at the Keating Sports Center is a makeup of one that was postponed on Sept. 10.