Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A-10 Notebook: Atlantic 10 soccer conference games begin

Saint Louis charges to the top of A-10 rankings after two conference victories
Nina Walat
Nina Walat

The Atlantic 10 dove into conference play this past week, as teams are trying to get atop the standings. These games are more valuable than out of conference games for positioning in the A-10 playoffs.

Saint Louis went from the bottom half of the conference to first place in the matter of one week, following up their win against Davidson with a defensive battle, beating Rhode Island 1-0.

The Rams (4-3-2, 1-1-0 Atlantic 10) were coming off a five-game unbeaten streak going into the matchup, having scored a goal in every game this season.

In a very even matchup, Saint Louis (4-3-0, 2-0-0 A-10) provided its winning goal from Leo Novaes, who slotted home his shot past goalkeeper, Stefan Schmidt. John Klein who provided the Billikens with three of their six shots on goal, assisted Novaes with a beautiful cross on the play.

With only one goal deciding the game, Saint Louis relied heavily on their defense to hold Rhode Island to only two shots on goal, both coming from redshirt sophomore Edvin Akselsen.

Saint Louis will face the Minutemen on Sat., Oct. 5. Kickoff will be at 1 p.m. at Rudd Field in Amherst.

VCU outlast Saint Joseph’s in overtime

 Another Atlantic 10 battle for Virginia Commonwealth University went to overtime, as the Rams (3-4-1, 2-0-0 A-10) defeated Saint Joseph’s 4-3. This was VCU’s third game to go into overtime in only eight games this season.

After a back and forth matchup during regulation time, it only took six minutes into the golden goal overtime for VCU to take their only lead of the game and seal the victory for the Ram’s.

Martin Ngoh provided the goal after a one-on-one with the goalkeeper, giving VCU its second Atlantic 10 victory and putting the Ram’s at second place in the A-10 standings.

Saint Joseph’s (4-6-0, 0-2-0 A-10) looked like they had scored the game-winning goal in the 86th  minute, pouncing on a cross towards the back post to make it 3-2. Shortly after a penalty was awarded to the Rams in the 88th minute and senior defender Ryo Shimazaki scored with a shot off the crossbar and in.

The tone of the game was set right after the starting whistle, as redshirt junior Biska Biyombo wasted no time getting the VCU offense rolling, firing a low strike and forcing a save in the bottom right corner mere seconds after kickoff.

The game was ridden with fouls, increasing in tension as the match progressed. On a total of 32 fouls in the game, the referee would handout six yellow cards in the second half.

The Rams conclude their six-game road trip with a match against out of conference opponents, the Akron Zips, on Oct. 2 at 7 p.m.

La Salle takes down former A-10 leaders Duquesne

In what seems to be a trend in A-10 play this opening week, it took overtime to decide the outcome of La Salle and Duquesne. Seven minutes into overtime, La Salle (5-4-0 NCAA, 1-1-0 A-10) striker Omari Cotterell provided the game winner, dribbling past three Duquesne defenders then slotting home his shot into the bottom right corner of the goal.

The Explorers jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the third minute, before Zach Hall of Duquesne (6-2-1 NCAA, 1-1-0 A-10) netted a header off a corner kick in the 19th minute. Both teams battled in the midfield for the remainder of regulation, taking the game into a stalemate until overtime.

The Dukes goalkeeper, Robbie McKelvey, recorded four saves in the first 18 minutes of the second half, keeping the game dead locked at one apiece.

La Salle put the most pressure on Duquesne outshooting them 15-7 (7-3 on target). The Dukes allowed more than one goal for only the second time this season, the other coming against Saint Francis four days earlier.

Duquesne almost secured a victory with under 30 seconds left in regulation when Manel Busquets got a hold of a long ball, rifling a shot off the right post.

The Explorers, now 1-1 in the A-10, are only one game back from leaders Saint Louis, even though they have a better overall record than the Billikens.

La Salle will face Saint Joseph’s in Pennsylvania at McCarthy Stadium, Sat. Oct. 5, at 7 p.m. where the Hawks will be searching for their first A-10 victory.

Kevin Schuster is a Collegian contributor can be reached at [email protected].

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