CINCINNATI, OH --- FC Cincinnati took the first-half lead but the two teams combined for four second-half goals in a 3-2 win over Xavier, Friday night at the Xavier University Soccer Complex.
Harrison Delbridge gave FC Cincinnati the early lead, scoring in the 22nd minute to register his second goal in three games after putting away his first of the preseason against Sacramento Republic FC two weeks ago. Andrew Wiedeman collected the throw-in and whipped in a pass to the oncoming Delbridge, who directed the ball past goalie Zachary Nelson for the first of his two assists on the night.
FCC controlled the first half, out-shooting Xavier 10-2 but the Musketeers caught FCC on their heels following the break as Matt Vasquenza evened the score one minute into the second period, taking a pass from Josh Grant and sliding the ball past Mitch Hildebrandt.
Aodhan Quinn quickly struck back for FCC, taking a short corner from Wiedeman and bending in a shot from the right corner of the 18-yard box to put FCC ahead again, 2-1 in the 48th minute.
Djiby struck for FCC in the 64th minute with what would be the insurance goal. The Orange and Blue pushed the ball deep into XU territory and started the play from the right flank. Matt Bahner sent in the pass to Djiby, who collected the ball just outside of the six-yard box and then neatly tucked it into the back of the net.
However, Xavier continued to press forward and narrowed the deficit to one in the 69th minute. Cory Brown capped a series of Musketeer headers by putting the assist from Cameron Taylor away into the upper left corner to complete the scoring.
The second period was a back-and-forth effort with Xavier holding a 9-6 advantage in shots taken. Derrick Otim had a clear look at the FCC goal in the 55th minute but his attempt from 25-yards out was knocked down by Hildebrandt.
Xavier nearly had the tying goal in the 83rd minute as an initial shot pulled Hildebrandt off his line and the Musketeers had two ensuing shots at the goal but blocks by Delbridge and Paul Nicholson turned the hosts away empty-handed.
It was FCC’s game in the first period. Wiedeman had a pair of looks at the goal in the ninth and 26th minutes but both times Nelson was there for the Musketeers.
Djiby was a challenge for the XU defense and he mounted a solid effort in the 38th minute, heading the ball off a cross from Kenney Walker but his shot just fell wide of the goal.
Xavier had few opportunities in the first but one came in the third minute as the Musketeers earned a corner kick that was poked out of bounds by Hildebrandt. The Muskies earned their third corner kick in the 42nd minute but the Orange and Blue were able to clear the ball without facing an XU shot.
FCC opens the USL season next Sat., Mar. 25 at Charleston Battery with a 7:00 p.m. kickoff.