Improved 2nd Half Not Enough as SJU Men’s Soccer Falls to Xavier

PHILADELPHIA, October 23, 2011 – The Saint Joseph’s University Men’s Soccer team played a much better second half in their game against Xavier, but the Hawks could not get their first Atlantic 10 win of the season as they lose 2 – 1 in the game at Finnesey Field.  Saint Joseph’s was out-shot 10 – 2 in the first half, but turned it around to have a 10 – 9 advantage in shots, and had much of the territorial advantage.

“I thought in the first half Xavier dominated as they had 90% of the possessions, had a goal, and had us on our heels.” Saint Joseph’s Coach Don D’Ambra said.  “In the second half to our guys credit they played with a lot of energy.  We shifted the momentum in the second half, created a goal.  We created opportunities, but couldn’t capitalize on the ones we did.”

Xavier led at halftime on a goal scored by Forward James Weber with 4:45 to play in the half.  The goal that Weber one-timed into the right center of the net was assisted by Midfielder Adar Cohen.  In the second half Cohen found the upper right corner of the net on a free kick past Saint Joseph’s Junior Goal Keeper Drew D’Ottavi with 36:08 remaining to give Xavier a 2 goal advantage.  The Hawks chipped away, and finally were rewarded with 29 minutes left to play.  Saint Joseph’s Junior Defenseman Tim Brennan out a shot on goal that was saved by Xavier Goal Keeper Ryan Engelmann.  However, there was a rebound on the shot that bounced to Freshman Forward Alexandros Crtizos who directed the ball into the net for his 4th goal of the season.

The Hawks were defeated for the fifth time in Atlantic 10 play, and they look for win number one in conference.  Saint Joseph’s falls to 1 – 12 overall.  The team has lost ten consecutive games.  Lack of scoring has been a reason for the slide as the Hawks have scored 4 goals and have been shutout 8 times during the streak.  D’Ambra sees that his young team improving, and that the derth of scoring can be remedied.

Don D'Ambra

“We are knocking the ball around and creating combination play,” said D’Ambra.  “We’re attacking with numbers this year where last year we didn’t see a whole lot of that.  We are improving as a program.  We have a lot of young guys who are still adjusting to the size, speed, and intensity of the play at this level.  They’re still making adjustments.”

The Hawks travel to Saint Bonaventure and Duquesne before returning home for games against Fordham and La Salle.

“Our record is not where we want it to be, but we have a lot of young guys,” said D’Ambra.  “We are building for the future and evaluating guys.  The ultimate goal is to build this into a winning program.  It doesn’t happen overnight.  We’re trying to improve game by game.”


Written By:  Glenn Papazian

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