PHILADELPHIA, PA. 10/5/2019 – The La Salle Explorers got two early goals then defended against the attack of the Saint Joseph’s Hawks to earn a 2 – 0 shutout victory at McCarthy Stadium. The Explorers have gone undefeated in their last four games.
The hosts got two goals in the first 21 minutes which gave them a big advantage. Then La Salle turned it over to their defense.
“It was a huge lift as we are traditionally a team that does not score a lot of goals,” said La Salle Coach Rob Irvine. “On the second goal we wanted to get it to one of our dangerous guys, and we were opportunistic in the box.”
La Salle stormed the goal and got the ball over the line at the 10:38 mark off the foot of Franc Gamiz Quer with the assist going to Colin Bateman. Just over 10 minutes later Pat McCarthy found the back of the net, his fourth of the year, from Omari Cotterell.
From there it was up to the Explorers defense to hold off the Hawks. They responded well as Saint Joe’s outshot La Salle by a 21 – 7 margin, 9 – 4 with shots on goal. Alvin Dahn led SJU with 6 shots, 2 that needed to be saved, and Leon Marcic had 5 shots.
“We told our back line about the urgency of their defending the box, which was good,” said Irvine. “They had more possession, but that’s fine because we focus on transition. If the other team has the ball more than us is not a huge concern. When you’re giving up opportunities, that’s a concern. We did dodge bullets today.”
La Salle goalie Brett Warner made a season-best 9 saves in recording his second clean slate this year.
“Brett was very solid,” Irvine said about the performance of his goal keeper. “We knew this was going to be more aerial. They’re a big team, and Brett did a good job of commanding his box.”
Saint Joe’s goalie Joseph Boehm made 2 saves facing 7 LSU shots.
The win is the fifth home win for the Explorers. They are 6 – 4 – 1 overall and are 2 – 1 in the Atlantic 10. Saint Joseph’s falls to 4 – 7 – 0, and have yet to post a conference win in 3 tries.
La Salle gets a conference win and a city victory, all of importance to the team.
“We told our players all week that this is a derby match, you’ll need grit and to battle, and I hope we showed that tonight,” Irvine said.
La Salle travels to Rhode Island for a match on Wednesday. Saint Joseph’s also heads to New England for a Tuesday game against Hartford.
Written By: Glenn Papazian