PHILADELPHIA – The Saint Joseph’s men’s soccer team (0-1-3) will host city-rival Temple (4-0) in Philadelphia Soccer Six action this Saturday. Game time is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. on Sweeney Field.
In SJU's last match, the Hawks battled for 110 minutes as SJU held a scoreless draw with Wofford on Sunday afternoon at Sweeney Field. Redshirt senior goalkeeper Andrew D'Ottavi (0-1-3) made five saves and senior midfielder Jimmy Reilly made a crucial team save in the 43rd minute to help the Crimson and Gray to their third tie of the season. Saint Joseph's saw junior forwards Alex Critzos and Mike Glazer land one shot on goal each while senior defender Brendan Reilly continued his dominance on the back line, aiding in clearing the ball out of SJU's defensive area multiple times throughout the match. Sophomore midfielder Tim Lazorko and junior midfielder Jake Nelson lead the Hawks in scoring with two goals apiece while D'Ottavi sports a 1.50 GAA and .731 saves percentage in 420:00.
Temple enters Saturday's game coming off of a 1-0 win over Rider on Wednesday. The Owls have not allowed a goal yet this season as Temple downed Saint Peter’s (1-0), Wofford (3-0), and Hofstra (2-0) to start the season. Against Rider, Jared Martinelli converted a penalty kick in the 78th minute to record his fifth goal of the season. Martinelli leads the Owls in scoring (5G, 1A) while Vaughn Spurrier and Robert Sagel have a goal each. Dan Scheck (4-0) sports a 0.00 GAA and 1.000 saves percentage with three shutouts to his name.
All-Time Series: Temple leads 37-13-7
SJU Streak: -5
First Meeting: 11/6/58, Temple, 5-4
Last Meeting: 11/3/12, Temple 2-0
Last SJU Win: 10/13/07, 1-0
Last Temple Win: 11/3/12, 2-0
Coach D’Ambra vs. Temple: 0-3
LAST TIME OUT AGAINST THE OWLS: On November 3 of last season, Saint Joseph’s fell at Temple’s Ambler Sports Complex by a final score of 2-0. Freshman midfielder Tim Lazorko landed five shots on goal and redshirt junior goalkeeper Andrew D’Ottavi made five saves in the net. The Hawks shut down Temple’s Jared Martinelli in the match, holding him to just three shots, one on goal, and snapping his three-game scoring streak.
D-D-DEFENSE: Through the first four matches of last season, Saint Joseph’s stood 1-3-0 after scoring three goals and allowing 10. This season, the Hawks have just one loss to their name and three hard-fought double-overtime draws, and this is in large part to SJU’s defensive unit. The Hawks’ back line has done a remarkable job thus far on the season, allowing just seven goals in four matches. Redshirt senior goalkeeper Andrew D’Ottavi has been outstanding in goal, coming up with a crucial save in the 36th minute against Hofstra and posting his sixth career shutout against Wofford. Seniors Brendan Reilly and Brian Reynolds, juniors Tommy Brooks and Brandon Stevis, and freshman Bliss Harris have been an integral part of SJU’s success on the defensive end in this early part of the season.
RALLYING REILLYS: Seniors Brendan Reilly and Jimmy Reilly made a pair of game-saving plays this weekend. In the 77th minute against Hofstra, the Pride's offense drew redshirt senior goalkeeper Andrew D'Ottavi out of the box. Hofstra's Nino Alfonso appeared to have a clean shot at the goal, but B. Reilly slid across the front of the net and kicked the ball out, preventing what could have been the game-winning goal. In the 43rd minute against Wofford, J. Reilly made an identical play to keep the Terriers off of the scoreboard.
DUELING TO DRAWS: In the first three matches on Sweeney Field this season, the Hawks have battled for 330 minutes to three double-overtime draws – vs. Loyola (1-1), vs. Hofstra (3-3), and vs. Wofford (0-0). The last season that the Hawks tallied three draws was in 2006, when SJU posted a final record of 2-12-4.
ALEX CRITZOS ON LOYOLA: "We wanted the win, but we're going to Rider with confidence.”
TIM LAZORKO ON HOFSTRA: "In the last five minutes, we were down a goal and we knew that we had to get one back. Our backs all the way up to our forwards did a great job of high-pressuring them. We didn't let them breathe in their half and we just kept getting free kick after free kick and throw-in after throw-in. I knew that we had to capitalize on one, because there were too many for us not to. I just tried to whip the ball in, and coach always says to put the ball in the mix and for someone to get a head on it. The feeling when the ball went into the back of the net was awesome. Sunday we're going to come out strong. Wofford is a strong program, and we're just looking forward to it."
ANDREW D’OTTAVI ON WOFFORD: "We held strong and we battled today. That's the type of team we are. That's what we have to do. We have to battle from start to finish."
FRESHMEN ON THE FIELD: Seven rookies have seen time on the pitch for the Hawks through the first four games of the season, with defender Bliss Harris (254 minutes) and midfielder Sam Irvin (167 minutes) making three and two starts, respectively. Midfielder Eric Jordan (236) is averaging 59 minutes per game after being one of the first Hawks off the bench in each match while defender Coupar Lipp (70 minutes) has seen action in three games. Forward Cameron Kadkhodai (19 minutes) saw action against Hofstra while classmates Mori Diane (17 minutes) and Mike Stuski (11 minutes) checked in against Wofford.
CALLING ALL HAWKS: 31 Hawks from eight different states comprise the 2013 roster. The breakdown is as follows: Pennsylvania (12), New Jersey (12), Maryland (3), Alabama (1), Louisiana (1), Massachusetts (1), and Virginia (1).
CAPTAINS OF THE SHIP: This season’s trio of captains exemplifies the definitions of both commitment and consistency. Redshirt senior goalkeeper Andrew D’Ottavi and senior midfielder Pat McGlynn enter their second years as captains of the squad. Joining them in 2013 is senior defender Brendan Reilly.
FROM FINNESEY TO SWEENEY: Longtime Saint Joseph’s landmark Finnesey Field will be renamed Sweeney Field this fall upon completion of an extensive expansion project. The venue, which has served as the home of Hawk Athletic teams for more than 80 years, will significantly increase the seating capacity for SJU’s varsity lacrosse and soccer programs. The new name recognizes the contributions of Sean S. Sweeney ’94 (MBA), a member of the University’s Board of Trustees and the lead benefactor to the renovation project. The current expansion includes the addition of 1,200 permanent seats to the hillside nearest to the University’s iconic Barbelin Hall as well as the addition of 1,100 portable seats on the opposite side of the field, increasing total seating capacity to 3,000. In addition, the facility will include a new state of the art press box and enhanced sound system.