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MSOC: Flyers and Hawks Lock Wings in a 1-1 Draw
MSOC: Flyers and Hawks Lock Wings in a 1-1 Draw
Christopher Rieman
Published by Chris R
09-17-2022
Exclamation MSOC: Flyers and Hawks Lock Wings in a 1-1 Draw

The UD Men's Soccer Team opened A10 play on Saturday evening against the Saint Joseph's Hawks and came away with the 1-1 draw at Baujan Field. A goal late in the first half put the Flyers up at intermission, but the Hawks countered with an equalizer after halftime to steal a point on the road. Dayton is now 5-0-1 (0-0-1) while the Hawks remain winless at 0-2-4 (0-0-1) but get a nice result away from home against a nationally-ranked conference foe.

The opening 10 minutes were far more competitive than the prior 90 minutes against Eastern Illinois, a game that produced 51 Flyer shots on offense. While Dayton commanded more possession to open play on Saturday, SJU did a decent job of withstanding those pressures and turning away a couple UD scoring chances. An early shot on goal went near post after a great overlap pass to set it up, but the Hawk goalkeeper was there to make the stop.

SJU's best offense came on counter-attacks rather than sustained buildup from the back line. They were helped in part by some Flyer touches in the central third that slipped away from the traps, allowing the Hawks to convert those into movement into the Dayton defensive half of the field. The yips continued throughout much of the half as UD squandered some prime opportunities to move forward with numbers when unfriendly taps of the ball squirted away and gave the Hawks additional possession as well as some opportunities to create attacking chances of their own. Fortunately, the UD back line was compact and organized and refused to surrender any shots on frame.

Despite the up and down play, the Flyers eventually found the net in the 39th minute on a quick counter in the offensive half of the field. Manny Day fed a terrific ball inside the box to Michael Adedokun. Adedokun took a setup touch and finished the good look to the left post from 15yds out to give Dayton the 1-0 lead. The Flyers did well on the restart and once again put good pressure on the SJU back line -- perhaps the best buildup of the match thus far. Rewarded with a late corner kick, Dayton nearly made it 2-0 right before the half, but the redirect was cleared off the goal line by Hawk defenders.

Halftime stats favored UD in shots 10-1 (4-0 on frame) while corner kicks were two a piece.

SJU regrouped and didn't waste time making things interesting, scoring the an equalizing goal in the 54th minute to tie the match at 1-1. Suddenly things were tense again as the unbeaten and nationally-ranked Flyers were in a tug-of-war with the winless Hawks.

Credit to the SJU defense that kept the Flyers off their stride for most of the second half. Defensive marking against UD's talented attacking players was very good, though it was aided many times by additional poor touches of the ball that previously plagued the Flyers in the first 45 minutes. Dayton's passing accuracy may have been the story of the match; it was off the mark on far too many occasions and the bugaboos led to only a handful of decent scoring chances over the last 20 minutes of the match.

When those passes were errant, SJU countered well in space and had excellent opportunities to steal a goal while transitioning with pace and purpose. The Hawks were persistently fierce in their blue-collar work ethic to make everything difficult for the Flyer attack. At times they were quicker, more assertive, or cleaner on the ball in those important 50/50 challenges and those efforts mucked up the run of play to give the Hawks a chance to hold on for a point on the road.

A couple final chances came and went in the last two minutes -- including a free kick from 20yds with just four seconds remaining -- but the final score ended up in a 1-1 draw.

For the match, UD outshot SJU 21-4 including 10-2 on frame. Despite the shot differential however, the run of play was much closer and the Flyers never had two firm hands on the shoulders of the match. Based on the respective records entering the game, the result is a disappointment for Dayton but the best showing of the season by the Hawks.

The Flyers travel to Kingston next weekend for a Sept. 24th matchup against the Rhode Island Rams.
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