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Men’s soccer: Penalty kicks lift Aurora University past Knox

Updated: October 14, 2012 1:45PM

When the door is left open, it’s pretty much a given the best course of action is to step right on through.

Aurora University’s men’s soccer team did exactly that Tuesday afternoon at Vago Field.

The Spartans were awarded two penalty kicks and scored on both and went on to a 3-1 victory over Knox College.

“It was not a pretty game by no means,” AU head coach Amir St. Clair said. “We didn’t play the way we wanted to play and they probably didn’t play the way that they wanted to play.”

A penalty kick goal by Colby Newquist, his first goal of the year, staked the Spartans (3-2) to a 1-0 halftime lead. Then Xavier Carrillo was awarded a PK at the 38-minute mark of the second half and he knocked that in for a 2-0 lead. Still, St. Clair wasn’t at all pleased.

“It was bad soccer,” he said. “We got the result (win) we wanted but not the kind of play we wanted.”

The Spartans did score one goal on some fine play. It started when Newquist dribbled the ball up the right side and fed Fabio Aiello. Aiello then completed the play by sending a shot past Prairie Fire goalie Sean McGovern for his first goal of the season.

“That’s kind of what we wanted to do the whole game,” St. Clair said. “We knew we could take it to them and put them on their heels and that was a just a snapshot on what we’ve been training on all week.”

Knox (2-2) averted a shutout late in the second half when Donald Tchopya scored. His goal came, no surprise, on a penalty kick.

Despite that goal, the AU defense played well in front of goalie Ethan Cashan. The trio of Cayden Palmer, Cory Novotny and Eduardo Cuautle refused to allow the Prairie Fire to get anything going.

“Our defense has been kind of our strength this whole season.” St. Clair said. “We want to get shutouts (but) we still can’t figure out a way to get them. But, allowing only three shots on goal (1 a PK) I’m happy with.”

The win also broke a two-game AU losing streak and set the stage for Sunday’s noon battle against the Milwaukee School of Engineering in the Northern Athletics Conference opener.

“A good rebound. That’s why results are so important,” St. Clair said.

More than even the poor play.

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