Men’s soccer lands first conference win

The men’s soccer team turned in their first conference win of the season by beating La Salle at a game of efficiency on Oct. 1, 2-1. Despite being outshot 18-7, bested on corner kicks, 9-3, and playing a man down in the last five minutes of the game, SLU was able to find the back of the net twice to take the three points.

SLU had the slight edge for the first portion of the game. The backline kept the La Salle attack at bay until the 24th minute when senior midfielder Joe Saad found junior defender Jair Hernandez on a corner kick, which he battled into the back of the net. Hernandez earned his first goal of his SLU career. The men kept the upper hand for a solid 15 minutes until a La Salle player ripped a shot past junior goalie Sascha Otte to bring the game to a tie just minutes before halftime.

An entirely new La Salle team came out to challenge the Billikens in the second half. Their attack was on fire with 13 shots and 8 corner kicks. However, the Billiken backline gladly greeted the challenge and held off the Explorers’ relentless pursuit for a game-winner.

SLU’s hard work on the defensive side of the ball paid off in the 56th minute when a SLU player drew a foul in the box to force a penalty kick. Senior midfielder Max Karcher finished off the goal with ease to pull his team ahead once again.

The Billikens’ lead on the road put La Salle on edge, refusing to lose on their home turf. SLU had to ward off many quality chances from the Explorers. In the last five minutes of regulation, Hernandez earned a yellow card, his second of the match, to get himself kicked out of the game. The men were forced to finish the game with ten players.

After a valiant effort and incredible performance in goal from Otte, the Billikens bore down to hold onto the win, 2-1. But, the last few moments of the game were not ones of sportsmanship. A fight broke out between the two teams, resulting in a straight red card for a La Salle player, a yellow card for sophomore midfielder Lennart Hein and a yellow card also for another La Salle player. Overall, six yellow cards and two red cards were issued throughout the game.

The Billikens now sit at 1-0-0 in Atlantic-10 play. The men travel to Dayton on Oct. 8 and will take on the Flyers at 6 p.m. to continue their winning streak.