Sports Information Director
Joliet, ILL. -- Austin Haire's (Porter, Ind.) goal in the 82nd minute of Tuesday night's Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) clash was enough to help the Saints pick up their second road win, and first in the CCAC, of the season over the University of St. Francis (Ill.). As we've grown accustomed to, freshman goalkeeper Iain McTurk (Copenhagen, Denmark) stopped all eight shots he faced in the second half en route to his second career shutout. With the 1-0 victory, the Saints match their program-best 2012 season with their ninth win and improve to 9-5 overall and 4-3 in the CCAC.
"Much needed win on the road for our team," head coach Omar Gallo said. "Not only is it a win, but it's a confidence builder moving forward. Anytime you pull out a 1-0 win it shows your team did not give up."
Although goals were of a premium in Tuesday night's contest, the sixth ever meeting between the two schools was a very active one. In the first half alone, there were 16 combined shots for the teams.
The Saints took control early in the first half under the lights at ATI Stadium in the cold and rainy conditions, generating 10 shots through the first 45 minutes. St. Francis kept the pace with six of their own, however, only one being on net.
In the second half, St. Francis began to take the offensive momentum away from the Saints. The Fighting Saints more than doubled their shot total from the first half, finishing with 13 in the second half.
With the clock winding down and the game still scoreless, junior Austin Haire took the ball down the pitch and finished a strike from 20 yards out for his second goal of the season to open up the scoring in the 82nd minute. Now the Saints needed to hold strong defensively for the final eight minutes.
Iain McTurk came up big in the second half for the Saints, stopping all eight shots on net he faced over the final 45 minutes. McTurk finished the game with 9 saves and picked up his second shutout of the season.
Tuesday's win had a lot of meaning for the Saints aside from the fact that they picked up key conference points; for a team struggling on the road this season, getting a tough, grind-it-out conference road win is never easy. With two of their final four games remaining on the road, this should give the team an added boost of confidence to finish out the conference season strong.
"Moving forward, the three points is huge in regards to the standing," continued Gallo. "I'm proud of the guys as we matched our school record with wins (9), so we're hoping that on Saturday we can break that record in front of our fans."
The win for the Saints also matches a program-best nine wins the 2012 team accomplished, and gives head coach Omar Gallo 18 career victories in less than two full seasons as the head coach.
The Saints (9-5, 4-3 CCAC) will now return home on Saturday, October 26 for a 2:30 p.m. start against fellow conference-foe Trinity Christian College (5-9-1, 2-6 CCAC).