Seton Hall draws in hard fought opener

Photo via SHU Athletics

The Seton Hall men’s soccer team drew 1-1 with the Saint Peter’s Peacocks in what was a highly contested opening game for both sides Friday.

The Pirates gave up an early penalty, three minutes into the game when forward Jonathan Jimenez received a yellow card on a handball inside his own penalty area. Goalkeeper Steven Catudal, stepping in for the departed four-year starter Julian Spindler, answered his first test with a phenomenal save to keep the game level as he parried away the penalty aimed to the right. Catudal ended the game with seven saves.

After Saint Peter’s scored with seven minutes left in the first half, midfielder Andres Arcila, returning for his junior season, curled in a magnificent free kick from 21 yards out. The momentum shifted in the Hall’s favor going into the half.

Seton Hall tallied 24 shots, bombarding Saint Peter’s with attempts but never capitalizing. Multiple players had three shots each, and collectively the Pirates put 11 shots on target.

Jimenez, named to the 2016 Big East All-Freshman Team, was a crucial player on offense last season and was setting the pace early on in the game by drawing fouls near the penalty area. Although, temperament was also an issue for Jimenez last year, and it showed up again in Friday’s opener with him receiving a second yellow card in the second half over a dispute with a Saint Peter’s player. The sending off would bring the Pirates down to 10 men, which put them at a disadvantage going forward.

St. Peters played more defensively in the second half of the game. Seton Hall led the possession at about a 60 to 40 split. Following the sending off, the lack of players on the team was evident when shifting from defense to offense. Catudal made a critical save late as he ran outside the penalty box to stop an attacking player from having a wide-open net.

The game went to two extra time periods as the teams traded shots on goal. Arcila had a free kick in overtime that was inches from going in, very similar to the goal he scored in the first half. Both teams attacked desperately as the seconds in the game dwindled down, but the game ended in a draw.

Up next for Seton Hall, the second of back to back home games, as Rider University take to Owen T. Carroll Field. The game is scheduled for Monday, Aug. 28 at 7 p.m.

Evando Thompson can be reached at or on Twitter @Thompsev.

Author: Evando Thompson

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