Dayton soccer off to rough start

By Chris Shores

The Dayton men’s soccer team’s attempt to repeat as Atlantic 10 champions has gotten off to a rocky start.

The Flyers have failed in four attempts to gain their first win, getting outscored, 10-3, in the process. Dayton first lost its home opener, 5-2, against Cincinnati, tied Oakland in a double overtime shut-out match and then lost two during a westward road trip to Denver and Air Force.

Freshman goalkeeper Josh Lavallee was named Co-Rookie of the Week for his stellar performance against Oakland filling in for Tyler Picard, who had been injured during the previous game.

Both Lavallee (.882) and Picard (.579) have each started two games this year, with Lavalle earning a much higher save percentage so far. That save percentage is second highest among goalies in the A-10.

Dayton is one of five teams in the A-10 that is winless, a group that also includes Massachusetts. The Flyers have a chance to get some wins on the board during an upcoming four-game stretch at home. The Flyers face Bowling Green (1-3-1) on Friday at home and then travel across town to take on Wright State University (1-3-1) on Sunday. Later in the month, UD will host Southern Illinois University-Edwardswille (1-3-0) and Alabama A&M (1-4).

GW’s Stadler off to strong start

George Washington University’s Andy Stadler has jumped out as an early candidate for the Hermann Soccer Award, an honor given to the nation’s top male and female collegiate soccer players. The senior scored the game-winning goal in a 2-0 win against Howard on September 5. Three days later, the senior forward recorded his first career hat trick in a 7-1 win against the University of the District of Columbia. Stadler is tied for the A-10 lead in most points and goals per game with Saint Louis’s Mike Roach. Stadler  is one of three men’s soccer players in the A-10 who was named to the Hermann Trophy Watch List, including Temple senior J.T. Noone and Massachusetts junior Ben Arikian.

GW goalie Brendan Lafferty was named co-Rookie of the Week, thanks in part to his first career shutout in a 2-0 win over Howard. The goalie’s .667 save percentage is good for tenth best in the conference.

In a preseason poll by A-10 coaches, GW was predicted to finish seventh out of 14 teams in the conference.  Their two losses have come from shutouts against American and California. Three of their next four games are at home, with matches against Longwood, Mount Saint Mary’s and Navy.

La Salle looking to bounce back from dismal ’08 performance

Last season, La Salle had the worst division and overall record in the A-10 (2-14-3, 1-8-0 A-10).

So far this season, the Explorers have already reached their total win mark from last year, and their 2-1-1 start is a promising sign that 2009 will be an overall improvement.

The Explorers lost their season opener, 2-1 to Bucknell before tying Niagara in a 2-2 double overtime match. They then posted two impressive wins, shutting out Robert Morris 4-0 on Sept. 11 and then winning the next day, 2-0, against Pittsburgh. Their success has relied on early scoring, in which the Explorers have outscored opponents 5-2 in the first half so far this year.

Offensively, sophomore forward Ryan Sepe has led the Explorers this season, scoring two goals and one assist, with sophomore midfielder Nick Dundon adding two goals. As a team, they lead the A-10 in points, goals and assists.

Goalkeeper junior Kyle Quigley was named the Soccer Six Player of the Week. He ranks fourth in the A-10 in save percentage (.840) and is one of three players who have recorded two shutouts this year.

La Salle will host Drexel (3-1-0) Wednesday, Sept. 16.

Chris Shores can be reached at [email protected]