CHICAGO – Led by a pair of goals by freshman defender Erik Diaz (Pena, Durango, Mexico/Chicago Academy), the Saint Xavier University men's soccer team notched its first victory of the 2013 season Tuesday night taking down rival University of St. Francis (Ill.), 3-0, in the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) opener for both teams at Bruce R. Deaton Memorial Field in Chicago. It was also the first game of the season for SXU senior keeper Kyle Held (Palatine, Ill./Palatine), who recorded the team's first shutout of the year behind seven saves. The Cougars led 2-0 at the half and then Diaz added some insurance with the game's third goal in the 53rd minute. With the win, Saint Xavier moves to 1-5-0 overall and 1-0-0 in conference play, while USF falls to 1-4-0 overall and 0-1-0 in the CCAC.
Diaz got the Cougars on the scoreboard in a hurry when he found the back of the net on a deep, unassisted shot from nearly 40 yards out that arched over the head of St. Francis freshman keeper James Thorpe in the game's eighth minute. A goal off a header by sophomore forward Marco Gutierrez (Stone Park, Ill./St. Joseph) set up by a throw-in by senior defender Dale Judickas (Hickory Hills, Ill./South Suburban CC/Stagg) put Saint Xavier ahead 2-0 in the 29th minute of action. After the Cougars came out of the locker room for the second half leading by two goals, junior midfielder Brandon Simoes (Brampton, Ontario, Canada/Olivet Nazarene/St. Edmund Campion) provided the assist on the final goal by Diaz off a corner kick just over seven minutes into the new half. SXU finished the game with 13 total shots, including eight on goal. The Fighting Saints took 10 total shots with seven of them on goal.
Saint Xavier (1-5-0 overall/1-0-0 CCAC) heads to South Bend, Ind., on Sunday, September 29, for another conference match-up against Holy Cross College (Ind.). The game is scheduled for a 2:30 p.m. (eastern) start.