September 30, 2013

Jeremy Kirkwood's First-Half Goal Leads No. 16 Men's Soccer to 1-0 Win Over Fontbonne

St. Louis, Mo., Sept. 30, 2013 – A goal by senior Jeremy Kirkwood in the 33rd minute was enough to give the No. 16-ranked Washington University in St. Louis men's soccer team a 1-0 win over Fontbonne University Monday evening at Francis Field.

Playing their forth match in the past nine days, Washington U. was in control much of the first half. The Bears had two solid scoring opportunities early in the first half, including a header by senior Michael Flowers that trickled just left of the goal. In the 10th minute, freshman Kevin Goon chased down a ball in the corner and passed it back into the box where sophomore Ike Witte one-timed a hard shot, but it went straight to the Fontbonne goalkeeper to keep the match scoreless.

Washington U. finally ended the shutout in the 33rd minute when a pass was chipped into the box but senior Michael McCarthy was unable to get his head on it. Kirkwood collected the clear attempt by Fontbonne, and hit a shot to the lower left corner of the net to put the Bears ahead 1-0.

The Washington U. defense stymied the Fontbonne offensive attack throughout the first half, limiting the Griffins to just one shot in the first 36 minutes of the match. In the 37th minute, Fontbonne put together its best scoring opportunity, but a long shot by Jason Williams was tapped over the crossbar by senior Jonathan Jebson for the save. The Bears finished with a 10-4 shot advantage in the first half, but Fontbonne had a 2-0 edge in corner kicks.

Fontbonne came out aggressively in the second half, and Jason Howard rifled a shot off the bottom of the crossbar that ricocheted straight down before bouncing away from the net. Zach Meyer got his foot on the loose ball in the box, but tapped a short shot that Jebson was able to secure for the save. The Bears' defense held strong through a flurry of Fontbonne attacks in the final 12 minutes of the match.

In the 80th minute, Jebson made his fourth save of the night on a ball headed for the far post. The Griffins had three-straight corner kicks in the span of 96 seconds but were unable to get a shot off. Fontbonne had its eighth corner kick of the match with less than five seconds remaining, but a header by goalkeeper Zach Will went just left of the goal as time expired to seal the win for Washington U.

The Bears finished the match with a 15-14 edge in shot attempts after Fontbonne had a 10-5 advantage in the second half. The Griffins place five shots on goal to the Bears' four, and ended the match with eight corner kicks to Washington U.'s two. Jebson improved to 2-2 in goal this season and recorded five saves in the win. It was his first shutout of the season and 18th of his career.

Washington U. (6-2-1) travels to Atlanta, Ga., to open University Athletic Association (UAA) play against Emory University at 11 a.m. (ET) Sunday, Oct. 6.

Bear Notebook: Washington U. leads the all-time series between the two teams, 14-1-2 … The Bears have scored in each of their first nine matches this season … It was the first time this season that Fontbonne has been shut out … Kirkwood, this week's UAA Offensive Athlete of the Week, has been part of each of the Bears' last seven goals (two goals, five assists) … It was head coach Joe Clarke's 193rd win at the helm of the Washington U. program, and he is now 398-160-65 (.691) in 30 collegiate seasons … The Bears are 99-31-21 (.725) at home in Clarke's 17 seasons.