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Men defeat VCU to close season

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kristoThe No. 11 Billikens concluded their regular season schedule against VCU Friday, Nov. 7, in Richmond, Va. The Rams came into the game as the only unbeaten team left in the A-10 conference, holding a record of 7-7-4 overall, and have not allowed a goal in the past 572 minutes of game time.

A lot was at stake for both teams; a win for the Billikens would seal the No. 2 seed going into the A-10 championship being held at VCU, while a win for the Rams would mean that they would tie for the A-10 regular season title with University of Rhode Island if URI lost on Sunday, Nov. 9. A win would also mean momentum for both teams going into the post-season.

SLU and VCU exchanged opportunities to score in the first 45 minutes with four shots on goal each, but neither found their mark. SLU could not take advantage of the two corner kick attempts in the first half either. This resulted in a scoreless first half, with the second half following the same trend until 74:32.

Robert Kristo has been on fire this season with ten goals and has continually come through for the Billikens- this game being no different than the rest. Kristo converted his 11th goal of the season unassisted to give the Billikens a 1-0 lead. Kristo scored off of a free kick, ripping the ball past the goalie near the far post.

VCU was unable to beat SLU’s consistently tough defense, and the 1-0 score remained for the rest of the game. Although both teams had eight shots on target, the defense held strong. Sascha Otte made one save for the game, to successfully complete an astounding, league-leading 11 shutouts for the season.

Although he allowed a goal, VCU keeper Garrett Cyprus had four saves for the game, shutting out the Billikens for the majority of the 90 minutes.

Coach Mike McGinty commented on the win stating,  “Just like last week against Rhode Island, this was a tough, tight game and our guys found a way to get the win.” Not only did the Billikens manage to get the victory, but this will be the second week in a row that they would hand a team in the A-10 conference their first loss of the season.

However, Coach McGinty is not letting this win distract the team from what comes next for the Billikens, stating, “This was a great result, now we look forward to getting ready for the postseason.”

The Billikens will end the season with an overall record of 12-3-2, and an A-10 record of 5-1-2. The A-10 championship will begin with quarterfinals on Thursday, Nov. 13, in Richmond, Va. The No.2 Billikens will play No. 7 La Salle for their first match-up.   La Salle ended their season 7-8-3 with a conference record of 3-3-2.

A victory in this game will result in SLU playing on Friday, Nov. 14, against the winner of the No.3 VCU vs. No.6 Fordham game.

As of Nov. 12, a number of Billikens earned accolades from the conference at the conclusion of the season. Kristo was named A-10 Offensive Player of the Year, while Graydon was named the A-10 Midfielder of the Year. Manning was named Defensive Player of the Year for the second year in a row.

All three of those players were also named to the first-team All-Conference. Junior defender Tyler David was named to the second team, along with senior midfielder Raymond Lee. Senior midfielder Kingsley Bryce was named to the A-10 All-Academic team. Freshman keeper was named to the All-Rookie team for the A-10, along with redshirt freshman defender Max Karcher.

 

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Men defeat VCU to close season