Oct. 21, 2006
WASHINGTON - The American University men's soccer team defeated Bucknell, 2-0, Saturday at Reeves Field, giving the Eagles three points in the league standings and helping them to pass by the Bison for fourth place in the Patriot League standings. In the process, American extended its home win streak to six games and remain undefeated at Reeves Field in 2006.
Before a raucous crowd of AU Blue Crew members, family and alums on Family & Alumni Weekend, American set to work to overtake the Bison for fourth place in the league standings. The match was key, as only the top four teams in the PL earn a berth in the PL Tournament.
The Eagles came out with more pickup than the visiting Bison right from the start. In just the second minute of the game, freshman Colin Zizzi (Carlisle, Pa./Carlisle) made some dazzling moves to free up his feet and made a perfect cross that found the feet of Sal Caccavale (West Islip, N.Y./West Islip). Caccavale's shot slid just wide to the left, but the play set the precedent for the Eagles.
In the 23rd minute, American had another golden opportunity denied. Forward Larry Mark (Beltsville, Md./DeMatha Catholic) and Bucknell goalkeeper Joey Kuterbach raced for the ball out wide right of the box. Kuterbach got to the ball first, but with Mark's pressure he fumbled it right to Mark's feet. Mark crossed the ball in front of an open net right to Caccavale, but Caccavale's shot at the open net was blocked at the last minute by a BU defender.
Something Head Coach Todd West said to his players at halftime must have spurred the Eagles on, as American came out in the second half and completely dominated play. The Eagles outshot BU 17-3 in the second half and had numerous more scoring opportunities. The first came just moments into the second stanza, when JP Kuykendall (Fairfax, Va./Madison) corralled a loose ball at the box line and blasted a shot at the net that Kuterbach was able to knock down.
All the AU pressure finally paid off in the 68th minute when Mark tallied his team-leading sixth goal. Senior Garth Juckem (Tampa, Fla./Tampa Jesuit) put a long ball into the box that was handled beautifully by Caccavale. Caccavale then flipped it to his right to a streaking Mark, who dribbled left once and buried home a low liner. Juckem and Caccavale were credited with assists; Juckem's was his team-leading sixth of the season.
Although American continued to put pressure on the Bison, it wasn't until the 86th minute that the Eagles finally got an insurance goal. Mark carried the ball to the wide right side of the box and drew three defenders and the goalie to the right, then placed a perfect cross to the back side of the cage to a waiting Caccavale. Caccavale put home the ball into a nearly empty net for his fifth goal of the season. With Caccavale's three points, he is now just three points out of AU's all-time top-10 in scoring.
Caccavale and Mark were American's offensive answer all day, each firing seven shots.
The Bison were unable to make many threats as the game wound down, and goalkeeper Chris Sedlak (Valrico, Fla./Bloomingdale) earned the shutout, making three saves.
After five league games, American now has eight points, and sits behind Lehigh (15 pts.), Lafayette (10 pts.) and Colgate (9 pts.). The Eagles have two more league games, starting with hosting Navy on Tuesday, Oct. 24, at 2 p.m. AU finishes out the regular season on Saturday, Oct. 28, at Army.