PHILADELPHIA - The Saint Joseph's men's soccer squad dropped its home opener to Saint Peter's 2-1, on Sweeney Field on Friday evening.
How It Happened
• Saint Joseph's senior forward Leon Maric did not waste any time building on his momentum from last season's memorable 12-goal run as he hit the back of the net in the 18th minute to put the Hawks on the board first. The play begin on a beautiful look ahead by junior midfielder Aidan Watkins to sophomore midfielder Garrett Lyons. Lyons tapped the ball over to junior midfielder Ritchie Barry, who struck a perfect pass down the left side toward Maric, who found some room and converted the goal.
• In the 33rd minute, freshman centerback Michael Mullins was hit with his second yellow card of the match and SJU was forced to play with 10 men for the remaining 57:11.
• Saint Peter's Tom Coulson hit the back of the net on a free kick from 23 yards out to equalize in the 44th minute.
• The Peacocks were also hit with a red card, in the 71st minute; the Hawks played for 38 minutes man-down prior to that ejection.
• Immanuel Sierck scored the eventual match-winner for Saint Peter's in the 80th minute.
• Lyons tallied back-to-back shots on goal late (83', 85') but SPU's Robbie Anderson made the pair of saves.
• Barry took one final shot with one tick remaining on the scoreboard, but it sailed wide as time expired.
Behind the Stats
• Sophomore goalkeeper Joseph Boehm (0-1-0) finished the night with 12 saves.
• The Hawks held an 18-8 advantage in shots, propelled by a 12-5 second half.
• Freshman midfielder James Fletcher and freshman centerbacks Alex Hartmann and Michael Mullins earned starting nods in their collegiate debuts while sophomore defender Johnny Cunningham also earned his first collegiate start. Sophomore forward Bryce Wallace also made his collegiate debut off the bench.
"There were controversial calls by the officials, but it was a really good defensive effort," said head coach Don D'Ambra following the season opener. "We defended for so many minutes that some of our guys were getting fatigued at the end. The numbers ended up evening up and we just didn't execute enough plays. They scored a really nice goal and had a lot of good defending late in the game. In the last 10 minutes, we got a little bit stretched and fatigued. They made a play and we couldn't execute. We had enough chances to equalize and get a second goal, but we just didn't do it. It was an honest, hard-fought game by our guys, but we have to be more disciplined and execute a little bit better and we'll be fine."
The Hawks remain home to host Fairfield (0-0-1) this Wednesday, September 4 at 7:00 p.m. on Sweeney Field; the Stags drew with Rhode Island, 1-1, on Friday evening.