CINCINNATI - In a wild game that featured five first-half goals, Saint Louis fell 3-2 at 17th-ranked Xavier Friday night in the Atlantic 10 Conference men's soccer opener for both squads.
The Billikens, ranked No. 19 by Soccer America and receiving votes in the latest NSCAA poll, snapped a three-game winning streak and fell to 6-3. The Musketeers improve to 8-0-2.
Both teams came out of the gates firing, and each put a goal on the board in the first two minutes of the contest. SLU sophomore forward Kingsley Bryce started the scoring when he tallied from close range off an Alex Sweetin feed to give the Bills a 1-0 advantage just 1:17 into the contest. However, Xavier equalized 23 seconds later when Will Walker chipped a ball over SLU keeper Nick Shackelford.
Walker scored again, this time in the ninth minute, to give the Musketeers a 2-1 advantage.
SLU sophomore forward Robbie Kristo scored his team-leading fifth goal of the season at 23:04, tying the game at 2-2. But Xavier's Gino De Paoli scored in the 28th minute for the eventual game winner.
The Billikens out-shot Xavier 6-3 in the second half but were unable to get a goal past Xavier keeper Justin Marshall. Kristo nearly tied the game as the time was winding down, but his shot in the final seconds hit the post, and Xavier hung on for the 3-2 win.
Saint Louis returns to action Sunday, Oct. 7, when they travel to Dayton, Ohio, to face the Flyers. First kick is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. (CT).