The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

Kicking forward

Photo by Christy Selagy, M.A., ’17

Men’s soccer starts A-10 play with 2-0 win

The Saint Joseph’s University men’s soccer team opened up Atlantic 10 play with a 2-0 win at St. Bonaventure University on Saturday, Oct. 2. It was the Hawks’ fifth shutout in seven games. It was also the third time in three years that the Hawks began A-10 play with a shutout win.

“It’s huge, especially on the road,” Head Coach Don D’Ambra said. “To start off, just set the tone. There were quite a few ties today [Saturday] in conference, so to come out with three points [a win] in conference is really big. It’s definitely something to build off of.”

Neither team was able to hold much of an advantage for the first half, with both squads taking six shots apiece in the half. St. Joe’s senior forward Mori Diane took the first shot of the game in the third minute, but St. Bonaventure goalkeeper Luke Iacobellis made the save, his first and only of the night.

Photo by Christy Selagy, M.A., '17
Photo by Christy Selagy, M.A., ’17

“I thought the first half was a little sloppy by both teams,” D’Ambra said. “Both teams were kind of feeling each other out. Both sides were a little anxious. They were pressing us a little bit. It was kind of an ugly game to start. Then we kind of settled in, and I would say, defensively, the longer the game went on, the better we got.”

St. Joe’s junior goalkeeper Greg O’Connell made two of his three saves in the first half, about 10 minutes apart.

The game continued with back-and-forth play until junior midfielder Matt Crawford scored the first goal of the game in the 41st minute.

“It was good to get the goal at the end of the first half to kind of improve morale,” Crawford said. “We were able to gain possession in their defensive third, and then we were able to get the ball out to [senior] Mike Stuski and he whipped in another great ball. It kind of bounced around a little bit. I had a pretty fortunate mis-touch—it ended up just coming up right back to me after I made that mistake, and then I was just kind of able to get it in. It was messy, but it ended up working.”

The St. Bonaventure Bonnies outshot the Hawks 7-3 in the second half, but only one shot was on goal. St. Bonaventure’s Paul Afful took a shot in the 75th minute, but O’Connell made the save to preserve the shutout, keeping the Hawks on top.

“As the game went on, I felt like we controlled it more and more,” D’Ambra said. “They did make a push in the last ten minutes, when it was still 1-0. They had a couple really good opportunities, but Greg O’Connell made an awesome save.”

The Bonnies tried to equalize in the 88th minute, but Jacob Dyck’s shot sailed high. Less than a minute later, Crawford scored on a free kick, his conference-leading fifth goal of the season.

“He just drilled it, and put the game away,” D’Ambra said. “It was a big goal.”

St. Bonaventure outshot St. Joe’s 13-9, though the Hawks held a slight 4-3 advantage in corner kicks. Crawford led the offensive charge for the Hawks, taking four shots, two on goal, and scoring twice. Diane took three shots, one on goal, and senior forward Bliss Harris had two shots.

O’Connell made three saves in the full 90 minutes en route to his fifth shutout of the season.

St. Joe’s saw full game efforts from O’Connell, Harris, Crawford, senior midfielder Eric Jordan, and the entire defensive line of Stuski, junior Ben Zambetti, sophomore Eddie McCusker, and junior Kevin Lockhart.

“We’re definitely playing better than we were at the beginning of the season,” Crawford said. “It helps having such a stable back line, knowing that we’re not going to give up anything easy. We’re working more towards keeping possession in the offensive third, trying to create more chances.”

The Hawks will return to Sweeney Field on Wednesday, Oct. 5 at 7 p.m. to take on the University of Rhode Island (4-6-1, 1-0 A-10) in another A-10 matchup.

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Hawk News

Your donation will support the student journalists of St. Joseph's University. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Hawk News

Comments (0)

All The Hawk News Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *