BRONX, N.Y. - Sophomore midfielder Tim Lazorko scored in the 23rd minute to lift the Saint Joseph’s men’s soccer team over Fordham, 1-0, on Sunday afternoon at Jack Coffey Field. With their third win in four matches, the Hawks have now earned three league wins for the first time since 2007 as SJU concludes its regular season at 5-8-5 overall and 3-5-0 A-10.
With the victory, the Hawks conclude the regular season tied for seventh in the Atlantic 10 and will head to Dayton for their first Atlantic 10 Championship appearance since 1994.
"I am so proud of our guys for having the mental toughness and resiliency to get two must wins on the road to give ourselves a chance to make the A-10 playoffs," said head coach Don D'Ambra. "They played with a lot of heart and made the plays needed to get the result."
The goal unfolded as redshirt senior goalkeeper Andrew D'Ottavi punted the ball toward junior forward Alex Critzos. Critzos dished the pass up over the top of the box for Lazorko. Lazorko took one quick touch at the 12-yard mark and glided the ball past the outstretched arms of Fordham goalkeeper Alex Naples and into the upper-90 to give the Hawks the 1-0 advantage at the 22:36 mark.
Fordham (5-11-1, 2-5-1 A-10,) attempted a solid pair of shots in in the late 17th and early 18th minute as Michael Stalker rocketed a ball toward SJU’s net, but D’Ottavi deflected the attempt. The ball ricocheted toward Fordham’s Taylor Gulbins, who immediately fired off his own shot toward net, but senior defender Brendan Reilly made a definitive block to deflect the attempt and preserve SJU’s lead.
Just a few plays after his goal, Lazorko was brilliant on the defensive end of the field, sprinting down the left side of the box to get his head on the ball to thwart the shooting effort of Fordham’s Blake Bohlen.
For the first half, Fordham held a 6-3 advantage in shots while each team fired off just one shot on goal each. The Rams also owned possession of all four of the half’s corner kicks, but the Hawks would own the 1-0 advantage heading into the second half.
The Rams fired off 10 shots in the second half in comparison to the Hawks' three, but D'Ottavi (5-8-5, 3-5-0 A-10) made all three second-half saves, including a diving stop in the 87th minute, and four on the day to record his sixth shutout of the season. The goalkeeper was also credited with the first of two assists on the matchwinner to record his first collegiate point.
The 2013 Atlantic 10 Men's Soccer Championship kicks off on Thursday, November 14 on Baujan Field in Dayton, Ohio. More information to follow.