Men’s soccer perfect in A-10, remains three points clear of Saint Joseph’s


Change may be uncertain and even scary at times, but it is definitely a good thing for the SLU men’s soccer team.

Sophomore goalie Ben Yeager has started and played the last four games after their original starting keeper, junior Sascha Otte, suffered an injury prior to the Dayton match on Oct. 8. Thus far, he has allowed no goals and made an impressive 15 saves. In his career debut, he has already earned the Atlantic-10 Defensive Player of the Week honor for his 11 saves in just two games against Rhode Island and George Mason. Yeager already leads the A-10 in save percentage (.938) and saves per game (5.0).

On the other half of the field, freshman midfielder Saadiq Mohammed is finally showing his nose for the goal. For three games in a row, he scored three game-winners and earned himself back-to-back A-10 Rookie of the Week honors. He currently leads the Billiken offense with 10 shots (seven on goal) and six points (three goals) on the season.

The rest of the team has certainly followed their example in absolutely dominating conference play. The men are currently 4-0-0 and show no signs of letting other teams in.

On Oct. 8, the men traveled to Dayton to battle their conference rival. SLU pulled away with the victory despite a close match with chances for both teams. Mohammed scored in the 22nd minute when he fired a shot into the left upper-90 just outside the box to give the Billikens an early lead.

Dayton had the better looks on goal, forcing Yeager to make four saves while SLU only put two shots on goal. Yeager and the SLU backline kept the Bills in the game to hold onto the 1-0 advantage.

The men traveled back to Hermann for an Oct. 12 match under the lights against Rhode Island.

Mohammed got the ball rolling early once again when he scored in the ninth minute off a rebound from a shot fired by junior midfielder Duncan Corbett. Mohammed slid into the middle of the box to put the ball in the back of the net.

Yeager was tested in this match, making six saves on Rhode Island’s 15 shots. They also earned eight corner kicks to SLU’s four, showing great discipline on the Billikens’ defensive end.

The game was not without its colorful moments, however. In the 83rd minute, Corbett received a red card and a Rhode Islander earned one of his own in the last seconds of the game. Senior forward Joe Saad also received a yellow card earlier in the game. Despite the troubles off the ball, SLU held on to collect the 1-0 victory against Rhode Island.

The Billikens hosted George Mason on Oct. 15 in a 2-1 victory over the Patriots. Senior midfielder Max Karcher put the Billikens on the board within the first 10 minutes of play. Saad found Karcher’s feet, and he chipped the ball over George Mason’s goalie to make it 1-0 in favor of the Billikens.

George Mason hit a stroke of luck in the 36th minute when SLU gave them an own goal. A SLU defender slid to block a shot, and it deflected just so to fly over Yeager and into the back of the net.

The two teams battled through the second half, but neither team could find the back of the net for a majority of the second half. In the 82nd minute, Mohammed received a ball from sophomore forward Anthony Brown, turned the defender on his back, and fired the ball across the George Mason keeper and into the goal.

SLU took the victory, 2-1, and advanced to 4-0-0 in A-10 Conference play.

The Billikens just outshot the Patriots, 13 to 12, and earned six corner kicks to their five. Yeager came up big again with five saves.

SLU then pulled off a win against the Davidson Wildcats thanks to a pair of goals from Saad, one in the second half and one in the third minute of extra time.

SLU took a total of five shots, putting two in net. Davidson took eight. Mohammed took two shots for the Billikens in the first half but was unable to convert on either strike.

After a scoreless first half, Saad finally struck gold in the 64th minute to earn his first goal of the season. However, Davidson hit the equalizer in the 81st minute when they finished off a loose ball in the box off a long throw. The teams finished the game tied, and reconvened to tackle extra time.

SLU’s game plan proved to be strong. Saad found a ball from Mohammed and sophomore forward Anthony Brown to take the win for the Billikens. The men moved to 5-0-0 in conference, holding onto their lead in the A-10 standings.

The men host St. Bonaventure on October 22 at 7 p.m. They stray from conference play for a lone week game against Indiana on October 25. SLU finishes their conference season with a match against Fordham at home on October 29 and an away game against George Washington on November 5. Davidson will host the conference championship on November 10-13.

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