CHICAGO – Propelled by a goal and assist from senior midfielder Al Palar (Zabrze, Poland/Plainfield Central), the Saint Xavier University men's soccer team opened its Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) slate with a 2-0 victory over rival University of St. Francis (Ill.) Saturday on Homecoming weekend at Bruce R. Deaton Memorial Field in Chicago. Freshman keeper AJ Pfatschbacher (West Dundee, Ill./Jacobs) posted his first career shutout with six saves for the Cougars. The win ends a three-game skid for SXU and gives the team a 3-4 overall record and 1-0 mark in the conference standings.
Palar found the back of the net early in Saturday's game when he broke free from his defender and sent a hard shot into the left corner of the goal in the game's 10thminute. Freshman midfielder Luis Medina (Waukegan, Ill./Waukegan) logged the assist on the opening goal. With less than two minutes remaining before halftime, the Cougars cushioned their lead when Palar sent a nice cross to senior defender Cody Culver (Roscoe, Ill./Harlem). Culver was in perfect position to take a wide open shot at the net and capitalized giving SXU a 2-0 advantage. Saint Xavier played tough defensively in the second half to protect its big lead and limited the Fighting Saints to just eight shots in the game. The Cougars finished with 13 total shots, including seven on goal.
Saint Xavier (3-4-0 overall) heads to Indiana on Wednesday, September 28, to take on CCAC foe Calumet College of St. Joseph. The match-up is scheduled for a 4 p.m. (central) start in Whiting, Ind.