Pirate's Late Surge Forces Draw with Xavier in First Game of Conference Play

Date: September 18, 2022

By: Justin Nicosia

The Pirates driving down the field.

Seton Hall Athletics

The Seton Hall Pirates (3-1-3) opened up conference play with the hopes of entering the national spotlight and potentially receiving votes in the Division I Men’s Soccer Poll.

Although they didn’t get the win they were looking for, the Pirates were able to fight back from a 2-0 deficit for a 2-2 road draw against the No. 24 ranked Xavier Musketeers (5-0-2).

Seton Hall got off to a roaring start, recording the game’s first three shots, two of which were by Ian Albuquerque and two of which were on goal, but they couldn’t find the back of the net. They kept the pressure going through much of the first half and had a total of five shots (three on goal) in the first 35 minutes.

Shortly before the halftime break, at the 37-minute mark, Xavier graduate student and midfielder Cameron Wheeler broke the tie, recording his first goal of the season, and putting the Musketeers ahead 1-0.

The score would remain 1-0 heading into halftime, and the Pirates trailed despite outshooting Xavier 5-4.

Seton Hall started the second half with a vengeance, recording two shots in as many minutes. The Pirates would record three more shots by the 70th minute, and despite continued pressure on the offensive end, they would concede in the 79th minute on Bernal de la Graza’s third goal of the season, making it 2-0.

Yet the Pirates did not give up. Five short minutes after giving up their second goal of the night, Andrea Borg would put the Pirates on the scoreboard with his second goal of the season, making the score 2-1 in the 84th minute. Luca Dahn was credited with an assist.

It looked like Xavier would come out victorious, as they headed into the final minute with the lead, but with just 32 seconds left in the game, Borg would draw a penalty.

Johannes Pex was able to convert from the spot to draw even. Neither team would be able to clinch a victory in the game’s waning seconds, and the Pirates were able to force a draw.

The Pirates outshot Xavier 14-6, winning the shots on goal battle 8-5. They also had more corner kicks than Xavier, 3-2.

Hannes Ronnholmen recorded three saves on the night.

Five Pirates -- Liam Guske, Pex, Ronnholmen, Albuquerque, and Knostantin Donalies -- stayed on the pitch for the full 90 minutes.

Junior Quenzi Huerman led the team with five shot attempts.

With the draw, the Pirates move to 3-1-3 on the year, with a 2-1-2 record in road games, and a 0-0-1 record in the Big East.

The Pirates continue Big East play next Saturday when they travel to Rhode Island to take on the Providence Friars (2-2-3) at 6 p.m.

Their next home game is on Oct. 1 at 6:56 when they take on the 2-4-1 St. John’s Red Storm. That game will be broadcast on with Chris Kiely and Matthew Soetebeer on the call.

Justin Nicosia can be reached at

Posted in: Sports, Men's Soccer

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