PHILADELPHIA – Wednesday night is a big one on Hawk Hill.
The Saint Joseph's men's soccer squad (8-7-2, 2-3-2 A-10) returns home from a two-match road swing to host Saint Louis (6-3-6, 3-1-3 A-10) in a must-win match-up for potential postseason consideration on October 31. Kickoff is set for 7:00 p.m. on Sweeney Field.
The Hawks are currently tied for ninth, with Duquesne, in the A-10 standings with eight points. However, the Hawks sit just one point out of eighth place and two points out of seventh place. Following Wednesday's night of six A-10 finales, all set to begin at 7:00 p.m., the top eight teams will make the postseason. For all possible scenarios, check out the complete standings, here.
Live streaming of Wednesday's match will be made available in the United States on ESPN+ and globally on the Atlantic 10 Network, with Pat McCarthy on the call. Live stats will also be provided through SJUHawks.com.
Prior to the start of the match, the Saint Joseph's men's soccer program will honor its six seniors - midfielders Kyle Lochbihler, Derek MacKinnon, Kyle Millar, and Lou Vilotti (captain) and defenders Ryan Beebe and Eddie McCusker (captain) - in a Senior Night ceremony, set to begin at approximately 6:48 p.m.
In case you missed it, check out the feature "The South Jersey Trio," a piece on the soccer journey of MacKinnon, McCusker, and Vilotti.
A WIN ON WEDNESDAY...
A win would make history in more ways than one: it would give the Hawks, currently 6-0-1 on Hawk Hill this fall, an unbeaten season at home and would give Saint Joseph's its first win over Saint Louis in the history of the nine-match series.
The Hawks are 6-0-1 at home this season with 23 goals scored and just seven goals conceded in wins over Quinnipiac, 4-2, Sacred Heart, 4-1, Navy, 2-0, and VMI, 5-0, a draw with La Salle, 2-2, and two more victories over then-#21 Fordham, 3-2 OT, and St. Bonaventure, 3-0. Junior forward Leon Maric has scored six of those 23 goals at home, followed by sophomore midfielder Alvin Dahn (5g, 4a), who leads the squad with 14 points at home, senior midfielder Derek MacKinnon (3g, 3a) and sophomore midfielder Ritchie Barry (3g, 2a). Freshman goalkeeper Joseph Boehm is 6-0-1 at home with a 0.99 goals against average and .788 save percentage with 26 saves vs. seven goals allowed in 637:21, all but 19:47 under the Sweeney Field lights this fall. Senior captain Eddie McCusker, redshirt junior captain Mike Fornaro, and sophomores David Grana and Daniel Morales have posted three clean sheets at home.
SCOUTING SAINT LOUIS
After opening the season with a 1-1 draw at Notre Dame and a 2-1 loss vs. Memphis, Saint Louis went unbeaten over its next six contests, with a 3-1 home win over Marquette, a 1-1 home draw with SMU, a 3-0 win at Tulsa, a 2-1 home win over Central Arkansas, a 1-1 home draw with SIUE, and a 2-2 road draw at Dayton in the A-10 opener. The Billikens then dropped a 3-1 decision at URI before bouncing back with a 4-2 home win over La Salle, a scoreless home draw vs. VCU, a 2-1 road win at St. Bonaventure, and a scoreless home draw vs. Duquesne. SLU then fell to Denver in non-conference action, 2-1, before picking up a 2-0 home win over George Washington on Saturday.
John Klein (7g, 1a), Leo Novaes (5g, 5a), Devin Boyce (4g, 4a), and Anthony Brown (4g, 3a) lead the Billikens in scoring with double-digit points while three players have seen time in goal, led by Seth Stiebel (3-1-4), who sports a 0.70 goals against average and .769 save percentage in 772:54. Stiebel hasn't lost in A-10 play this fall, with a 3-0-3 record. Preseason All-Conference defender Lennart Hein has held down an SLU defense that concedes just 1.13 goals per outing.
The Billikens, predicted to finish sixth in the A-10 this fall (in a field of 13 teams), went 7-9-1 overall and 4-4-0 in conference play last year, reaching the A-10 quarterfinals.