Matt Robinson’s return to the lineup after missing all of last season with injury has proven vital for the early success for La Salle’s new head coach Rob Irvine.
Like he did a few nights earlier to beat Loyola, the redshirt junior’s goal from the penalty spot on Tuesday night was the difference between a scoreless draw and a win in the Explorers home opener against Philadelphia Soccer Six rivals Drexel.
The game appeared to be overtime bound when the Dragons - coming off a scoreless draw against St. John’s on Friday - conceded the dagger of a penalty with 2:27 left to play in regulation.
Drexel had chances to open their scoring account for the season - freshman defender Daniel Klemm came close off a header in the 60th minute and freshman forward Carlos Cuevas had a chance hit the crossbar for the second straight game in the 81st minute. As a team, Drexel outshot La Salle 11-8 and had a 5-2 advantage on corners.
La Salle’s fifth-year goalkeeper - the Soccer Six Defensive Player of the Week - made four saves to record his second straight clean sheet of the season and the 12th of his career. He’s now fourth in program history in shutouts.
Drexel keeper Tyler Afflerbach make one key intervention on a rocket from La Salle’s Johnny Ciarlante that the senior hit up over the crossbar for a corner. Drexel midfielder Chris Haskins made a critical sliding challenge to stop a La Salle counter attack late.
The Explorers host Rider on Friday evening at 7:30 p.m. and Drexel heads to New Rochelle, New York to take on Iona on Saturday at 3 p.m.