Sunday, November 18, 2012

Xavier vs. Indiana -- NCAA men's soccer

A team with lesser coverage in the Cincinnati sports market, the Xavier University men’s soccer team did something today no other Musketeer squad has done before it: play in the second round of the NCAA tournament.

Xavier fell 4-1 to Indiana today in Bloomington, but the score doesn’t truly reflect the way the game was played.  The Musketeers fought hard the first half to find the back of he net, tying the score at 1-1 with the No. 16 ranked Hoosiers. The tie would finally break with just 10 minutes left in the 90-minute match, with an Indiana goal that deflated any Xavier hope. The next few minutes, mainly garbage time, led to a few extra finishes past the defeated Musketeers.

To even be in this situation, for Xavier and Cincinnati soccer in general, is the more impressive feat.  This is the first time that Xavier represented the Atlantic-10 conference as the champions, with coach Andy Flemming turning the program into something the city can be proud of. The team of young men fields a GPA of over 3.0, impressive in NCAA Division I athletics.

Xavier played the role of little fish in a big pond by making it to the Big Dance, but they did so in a way that the school, the fans, the city, and the sport can be proud.

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