Men's Soccer Falls Short at No. 23 Xavier, 1-0
Bears' defense yet to allow first-half goal this season; Muskateers score in 81st minute
Sept. 22, 2012
CINCINNATI, Ohio - The Missouri State men's soccer team (4-2-3) suffered its second consecutive loss on Saturday, 1-0, against 23rd-ranked Xavier, who remains undefeated at 6-0-2. Much like MSU's first loss of the season to Dartmouth (Sept. 16), a score late in the match led to the Bears' defeat.
"We let an opportunity get away today," head coach Jon Leamy said. "We will stay at it, get better and be ready to play again at home on Oct. 3."
Missouri State got off to a quick start on the offensive side of the ball with two shots on goal in the first six minutes of the game. However, sophomore James Fawke and junior Cole Alexander's shots on target were unable to find the back of the net. With five total shots in the period, Missouri State had just one shot that was off target.
Defensively, the Bears limited the undefeated Muskateers to four shots in the half and went into halftime tied at 0-0. In nine games, Missouri State's stingy first-half defense has yet to allow a goal in the first period.
In the second half, the Bears continued to put pressure on Xavier and prevented the Muskateers from getting a shot off in the first 20 minutes of the period. It wasn't until the 81st minute that the ranked squad broke down the MSU defense and found its window of opportunity. Xavier's Matt Walker penetrated the Bears' backline and fired a shot from the corner of the box and put it past keeper Andrew Riggs to score the game's first goal.
Following the Muskateers' eventual game-winning goal, the Bears rattled off four shots in the last five minutes, three of which were pulled in by XU goalie Justin Marshall. Midfielder Parker Maher launched one last effort for the Bears to tie it up at the 89:58 mark, but Marshall registered his eighth save of the day to close out the match.
On the day, Missouri State outshot Xavier 12-8 and had eight shots on goal. The Bears had four players with two shots apiece including Fawke, Alexander, Jared Gain and Jack Roberts. On defense, MSU was able to limit Xavier standout Luke Spencer, who entered the game ranked sixth in the nation in points per game (2.33).
After an eight-game stretch on the road, the Bears return to Plaster Field for three consecutive home matches beginning Oct. 3 in a non-conference tilt with Memphis.