Rio Grande, Ohio - Despite a goal in the season opener by junior midfielder Brandon Simoes (Brampton, Ontario, Canada/Olivet Nazarene/St. Edmund Campion), the Saint Xavier University men's soccer team did not get the start to its 2013 season it had hoped for falling to 0-2 with a pair of losses over the weekend in Rio Grande, Ohio. The Cougars (0-2 overall) dropped their opener to No. 9 ranked University of Rio Grande (Ohio), 7-1, at Evan E. Davis Field on Saturday evening and then fell 2-0 to Shawnee State University (Ohio) on the same field Sunday afternoon. Junior keeper AJ Pfatschbacher (West Dundee, Ill./Jacobs) got the start in goal both games for SXU and finished with a combined 16 saves on the weekend.
Senior midfielder Maxi Viera kicked off the scoring for the Red Storm in Saturday's game netting a pair of goals within two minutes of each other with the first coming in the 16th minute of play. His two goals gave the hosts a 2-0 lead at the half. Less than five minutes into the second half, Simoes took a feed from freshman midfielder Kamil Szczesniak (Skomielna Biala, Poland/Reavis) and cut the deficit in half with a goal to make it a 2-1 game. Unfortunately for the Cougars, the Red Storm took control from there, and less than 10 minutes later, scored three goals in less than a five-minute span to pull away for good. Saint Xavier finished the game with two total shots, both on goal.
In Sunday's match-up with Shawnee State, the Bears got a pair of first-half goals from junior midfielder Tanner Hopwood that proved to be the difference. SXU was aggressive offensively in the game's opening 20 minutes posting multiple shots on goal, but Bears senior keeper Thomas Carbonari stopped every attack. Hopwood scored the game's first goal on a close range shot in the 20th minute off assists from sophomore midfielder Nick Dowdell and junior forward Joseph Webster, respectively. Just over 10 minutes later, Hopwood used a header off a deep throw-in to the box by junior midfielder Danny Parsons to put Shawnee State ahead, 2-0. Junior forward Lorenzo Savino (Palatine, Ill./Harper JC/Fremd) finished Sunday's contest with four shots, including three on goal. Pfatschbacher recorded 11 saves in the game.
Saint Xavier (0-2 overall) hosts University of Northwestern Ohio on Saturday, August 31, for its next match-up. The game is scheduled for a 2 p.m. start at Bruce R. Deaton Memorial Field in Chicago.