Billikens stumble at La Salle; Ohio foes await 5-8 Bills

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After three straight wins, the Billikens blew a 2-0 lead at La Salle, losing the game 3-2 in a heartbreaking double overtime. The Bills (5-8-1) are now 3-3 (.500) in the Atlantic 10 conference season. The Bills beat Duquesne, St. Bonaventure and Fordham before losing on Sunday to La Salle.  “We are at a point in our season where we need results,” Head Coach Mike McGinty said.

The Bills won 2-1 at home on Oct. 14 against Duquesne to begin their three-game winning streak. The Bills won in dramatic fashion winning on an 88th minute goal by Robbie Kristo. The goal was Kristo’s first career collegiate goal. On Oct. 16, the Bills celebrated a 1-0 victory against St. Bonaventure at home. Robbie Kristo scored in the 80th minute. Bills goalkeeper Nick Shackelford recorded seven saves in the Bills first shutout of the season. “To get two wins here at home were crucial for us from both a confidence and competitive standpoint. It is great to see the guys finding a way to win games,” McGinty said.

The Bills had lost three straight games, including two conference games, before going on their recent three game winning streak. The Bills then went on the road facing Fordham and La Salle. On Oct. 21, the Bills had a 2-1 victory on the road against Fordham. Jon Roeckle and William Hidalgo scored in the second half. Roeckle scored 37 seconds into the second half for his first goal of the season. Hidalgo scored in the 52nd minute. The Bills’ winning streak came to a halt on Sunday after an unfortunate 3-2 double overtime loss at La Salle, despite leading 2-0 at the end of the first half. Freshman Robbie Kristo scored two first half goals in the 13th minute and the 36th minute. Nick Maglasang assisted on the first goal and Kingsley Bryce assisted on the second goal.

The Bills took the 2-0 lead into halftime and led a majority of the second half before La Salle’s Kameron Teel scored two quick goals 24 seconds apart in the 78th minute to tie the match at 2-2. La Salle won early in the second overtime when La Salle’s Jason Plumhoff scored on a free kick in the 102nd minute. The Bills will end their season with a three-game home stand playing the Dayton Flyers and the Musketeers of Xavier University this week, and they conclude their season by facing No. 12 Charlotte–three of the toughest teams in the A-10. The Bills will play Dayton on Friday, Oct. 28 at 7 p.m. and will play Xavier on Sunday, Oct. 30 at 1 p.m. Both games will be played at Hermann Stadium. Dayton comes in as one of the hottest teams in the A-10, winning four straight conference matches and tied for the best conference record in the A-10 (4-2).

Dayton is led by sophomore forward Abe Keller, freshman defender Greg Enstone and sophomore midfielder Victor Duru. Keller, Enstone and Duru each have three goals. Keller has 9 points (3G, 3A), and Enstone and Duru have 7 points (3G, 1A) each. Enstone was named the A-10 Rookie of the week this past Monday. Dayton goalkeeper Alec Storm has 22 goals allowed, a 1.58 goal allowed average and a .725 save percentage. Dayton is a team that commits a lot of fouls. The Flyers have committed 208 fouls compared to opponents’ 166 fouls.
Xavier is led by junior forward Luke Spencer, sophomore midfielder Gino Depaoli and redshirt freshman midfielder Will Walker. Spencer is sixth in the A-10 with 14 points (5G, 4A), Depaoli is 10th in the A-10 with 11 points (4G, 3A) and Walker is second in the A-10 with 6 assists.

Recently named starting Xavier goalkeeper, Ryan Engelmann has only 2 goals against in 5 starts and a 0.60 goal against average. He has a .889 save percentage and already has two shutouts to his credit. Xavier has had 60 corner kicks compared to opponents’ 35 corner kicks this season. The Bills find themselves in a tough situation, and it will not get any easier with these three tough upcoming opponents. The pressure is building as the A-10 tournament draws even closer.