LEXINGTON, Va. - Playing on its home turf for the first time this season, the VMI men's soccer team fought its way to a 0-0 draw with Saint Joseph's on a sunny Saturday afternoon at Patchin Field.
The shutout was VMI’s first since Sept. 5, 2014, and the first home shutout since Oct. 26, 2013.
Both team had several close calls putting the ball into the net but superior play from the keepers and defensive backlines kept the game scoreless.
The Keydets nearly notched a goal in the second half of regulation following a flurry of shots in a 10-second span, including a Hawk team save as VMI's David Wright took a shot.
"I am very proud of the effort from our entire team today," said VMI head coach Michael Bonelli. "Building a championship culture takes time and does not happen over night. Results like today show we are progressing as a program. This was a very well-played college soccer game from both teams. We had a number of chances to win the game and need to be more efficient in the attacking third. We are never satisfied with a tie and we will look to improve heading into our match versus Manhattan on Wednesday."
VMI goalie Jon Harrington earned a career-high 10 saves during the match, including a St. Joseph's penalty kick in the first half that he took a chance on by diving to his left and hit the ball out of play. Hawk goalie Greg O'Connell countered with seven saves of his own. The Fredericksburg, Virginia native topped his previous high of seven saves from the season-opening tie with Longwood.
Saint Joseph's finished the match with 30 shot attempts to VMI's 14, but the Keydets ended the game with eight shots on goal in comparison to the Hawks' 10.
Wright finished the game with five shot attempts, including four on goal, while freshmen Christopher McGhan and Jessie Zavala registered three and two shots, respectively. St. Joseph's Matt Crawford led the way for the Hawks with 12 shot attempts at the net with six on post.
The Keydets return to the pitch Wednesday night with a game at Manhattan slated for a 7 p.m. start in New York City.