PHILADELPHIA - Senior forward Ryan McFadden scored his first collegiate goal in the 85th minute and redshirt senior goalkeeper Andrew D'Ottavi blanked the Rams to lift the Saint Joseph's men's soccer team to a 1-0 victory over Atlantic 10 foe #24 VCU on Sunday afternoon at Sweeney Field. The goal snapped the Hawks' four-game losing streak and gave them their first conference win of the season.
The goal unfolded as junior forward Alex Critzos gained possession of a misdirected VCU pass. Critzos turned and found sophomore midfielder Tim Lazorko high on the left wing.
"We were pressuring them up top, and we were pressuring them all game," said Lazorko of setting up the goal. "I thought that we frustrated them the whole game on the back."
Lazorko created some room and launched a pass to McFadden that would result in the match-winning goal, which the senior buried into the lower-right corner.
"Timmy's a great player on the outside," said McFadden. "I know that when he has the ball on the outside, he's going to find me in the middle. It took a lucky bounce for me and I just hit it as hard as I could into the back of the net."
VCU (8-5-2, 3-1-1 A-10) attempted three more shots after SJU's goal, but in his final home match, D'Ottavi made a huge save in the 86th minute to keep the Rams scoreless. VCU would then hit the post in the 89th minute and attempt a shot in the 90th that was deflected by SJU’s defensive unit.
The back line of seniors Brendan Reilly and Brian Reynolds alongside juniors Tommy Brooks and Jake Nelson were a force to be reckoned with, blocking five of the Rams' shots.
For the game, Saint Joseph's held a 13-12 advantage in shots and held even with VCU in shots on goal, as each team fired off four for the match. The Rams held a slight 3-2 edge in corner kicks.
Starting his 66th career match, senior midfielder Pat McGlynn took a game-high four shots, landing a shot on goal in the 26th minute. Getting the starting nod on the attack, senior forward Colin Reilly landed one shot on goal in the 70th minute.
D'Ottavi (3-7-5, 1-4-0 A-10) was brilliant between the pipes, making four saves to hand VCU its first conference loss on the year and blanking the Rams for just their fourth time this season. With the four-save effort, D'Ottavi passes Kevin Dougher '03 to rank fourth on SJU's all-time list for career saves with 352. Additionally, with his fifth shutout of the season and 10th of his career, D'Ottavi takes sole possession of fifth on SJU's all-time list for career shutouts.
Prior to the start of the match, Saint Joseph's honored it's 10 seniors - Andrew D'Ottavi, Ryan McFadden, Pat McGlynn, Michael Moulton, Sam Pozzessere, Brendan Reilly, Colin Reilly, Jimmy Reilly, Brian Reynolds, and Connor Widerman - for their commitment and dedication the men's soccer program over the course of their careers on Hawk Hill.
Saint Joseph's will hit the road for their final three regular-season matches, starting with a trip to Saint Louis next Sunday, November 3. Kickoff is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. CT (2:00 p.m. ET) at Hermann Stadium.