Nov. 16, 2012

Xavier Earns First NCAA, Advances To Face Indiana
LEXINGTON, Ky. – Senior Luke Spencer tallied a late goal and the No. 22 Xavier men’s soccer team earned its first NCAA Tournament with a 1-0 victory over Kentucky on Thursday night at the UK Soccer Complex.

The Musketeers (14-2-5) advance to play 16-seed Indiana at 1 p.m. on Sunday in Bloomington, Ind. The game will be aired live on the Big Ten Network.

Spencer netted his league-leading 14th goal of the season on a counter attack in the 86th minute. The ball was carried down the field by the Walker twins who crossed the ball in the box and set up Spencer’s one touch to the far post.

Xavier’s third-ever NCAA Tournament match heavily favored the Musketeers who controlled the play through the midfield. The Musketeers connected passes and slowed Kentucky (10-9-2) throughout the match. The Wildcats’ only shot on goal came in the opening minutes of the first half.

The Musketeers pushed forward in the first half and a flurry of scoring chances from Spencer, Matt Walker and Andrew Jordan that either missed or were saved. Xavier narrowly won the shot advantage (10-9) but held corner kicks (7-1) and shots on goals (4-1).

Matt Walker led all Xavier players with four shots with three on goal. His 10th assist makes him the second player in Division I to reach the season double digits in goals and assists. Matt Lodge had six shots for UK.

Justin Marshall (14-5-2) earned the shutout victory having made no saves but a great diving stop on a cross through the box.

Xavier improves to 6-0-1 when shutting out its opponent this season and 11-0-2 when winning the corner kick battle.

Sunday’s meeting with the Hoosiers will be the first meeting between the two programs. Indiana finished the regular season and Big Ten Tournament with an 11-5-3 record. The Hoosiers have faced eight ranked programs this year.

Rex Scores Twice As 49ers Top UAB, 3-2, In The NCAA Tournament
Charlotte, N.C. – Behind two goals by Jennings Rex and another goal by Giuseppe Gentile, the Charlotte 49ers (15-3-3) defeated the UAB Blazers (10-8-3), 3-2, in the first round of the NCAA Tournament at Transamerica Field.

“It was an incredible game,” Charlotte coach Kevin Langan said. “It was a valiant effort by our team today.”

Rex gave the 49ers an early 1-0 lead when he knocked in a Tyler Gibson corner kick in the seventh minute for his tenth goal of the season. Rex then gave the 49ers a 2-0 lead when he banged in a Donnie Smith corner kick in the 29th minute for his 11th goal of the season. Rex has now scored 24 goals in his career.

“We have worked hard on set pieces all year in practice,” Rex said. “We found a weakness in the UAB defense and we thought we could exploit it. Both of the goals came on basically the same play.”

UAB answered when a shot by Kofi Gyawu banged off the cross bar and down toward the goal line. The ball accidentally hit Charlotte defender Biko Bradnock-Brennan in the arm creating a penalty kick for the Blazers. Mladen Lemez cut Charlotte’s lead in half when he converted the penalty kick in the 50th minute.

Charlotte quickly answered when Owen Darby played a beautiful through ball toGentile near the top of the box on the right side. Gentile then blasted a shot into the lower left corner of the goal in the 52nd minute. Gentile’s goal was his ninth of the season and the 19th of his career.

UAB cut Charlotte’s lead down to 3-2 when Diego Navarrete put the ball in the back of the net off a Chase Wickham assist in the 85th minute. Over the final five minutes of the game, UAB had two shots and two corner kicks but they were never able to get the equalizing goal.

Each team finished the game with 10 shots. Rex led the 49ers with five shots. Gentile recorded two shots.

Charlotte advances to the second round of the NCAA Tournament where they will face third-seed Georgetown on the road, Sunday, November 18 at 1 pm.