Sophomore goalkeeper Mark Tobin made seven saves and senior Johnny Ciarlante and freshman Soji Olatoye scored in the second half to lead La Salle to their first win of the 2017 campaign over Saint Peter’s to open a five-game home stand Wednesday night.
After a scoreless first half, Ciarlante headed home a ball from classmate Matt Robinson in the 60th minute. The goal was the first of the season for the Southampton native and the third assist of the year for Robinson, who also has a pair of goals.
Olatoye, a freshman attacker from Ontario, added his second goal of the season on another header off service from senior defender Zach Rutherford 11 minutes later to seal the first win for the team since a 1-0 win over UMass in last year’s regular season finale.
With the win, the Explorers improve to 1-4-0 on the year ahead of a meeting with Lafayette on Sunday night at McCarthy Stadium.
Villanova returns to .500 with shutout over Rider
A pair of goals from seniors Lucas Hodges and Andreas Bartosinski led the Wildcats to a 2-0 win at Rider Wednesday night.
Hodges converted from the spot three minutes from halftime after Yusuf Cueceoglu’s shot was handled in the box. Freshmen Theo Quartey’s strong run down the flank in the 57th minute set Bartosinski up for a nicely taken goal to beat the Broncs keeper and leave the rest to goalkeeper Will Steiner and the back line.
Steiner made four saves in the match to record his first clean sheet of the season and the back line of Shane Bradley, Nikkye DePoint, Chris Bared and Andres Camacho did well to hold the Broncs attack in check.
"We just needed this," Villanova head coach Tom Carlin said in a news release. "We didn't play our game at Loyola Saturday. I thought we need to respond with solidarity and strength. We did that tonight."
Bartosinski’s goal was his third of the season, equaling a career high in 2015. Though the German is typically known for his work protecting the back line, breaking up plays in the middle of the field and starting the attack he’s stepped up on the offensive side more in the early going.
"Andreas has an impeccable sense of timing," noted Carlin. "He got a toe poke on (the goal) to finish a great run."
Villanova opens their Big East season at home Saturday at 1 p.m. against Marquette.