BOYS SOCCER Graves goal gives Irish 1-0 victory
The winning shot against Salem came in the final three minutes and kept Ursuline unbeaten.
By JOHN BUTERA
SALEM -- Just when it appeared that Ursuline High and Salem were headed to a scoreless tie, P.J. Graves came along to save the day for the Irish.
With 2 minutes, 37 seconds remaining, Graves took a pass from Brian Rabel and connected from about 17 yards out to give Ursuline a 1-0 victory in Reilly Stadium Thursday night in a boys soccer match.
Graves, who had six shots, said of his game winner, "I was really hoping it would go in. We had played a good game to that point and had several shots on goal, but we couldn't put it away."
Ursuline (3-0-1) collected 18 shots on goal, nine in each half, including the Graves' game-winner, which was his fifth goal of the season.
Mike Bailey had eight of the Quakers' (1-3-1) 13 shots on goal.
Missed opportunity: With 16:07 remaining in the first half, Salem had the best opportunity to score at that point when Bailey missed a shot when Ursuline keeper Dan Frank came out to defend on the play.
By intermission Bailey had five of Salem's first half shots.
With 22:01 remaining until intermission, Salem had already had six shots on goal forcing Ursuline to give Frank a rest.
Jeremy Yeager, the Quakers' keeper, turned in an outstanding performance, turning away all but one of the Irish's 18 shots.
"I really thought it was going to end up 0-0," said Ursuline coach Lou Fusillo. "Salem is a good team and we said at halftime whoever scores will win.
"By the time we got the goal both teams were exhausted. We had a few anxious moments throughout the game, but it was well worth it when it went in."
Salem coach Tom Wright said, "This is really tough. It's definitely not the way I like to go down.
"They [the Irish] are a good team, but don't take anything away from us. Our kids fought hard and I am sure we'll regroup soon."