Senior goalkeeper Eric Hintz (South Windsor, Conn./South Windsor) made seven saves, including a pair of tremendous stops, and The University of Scranton men's soccer team took advantage of an own goal to post a season-opening 1-0 victory over Gettysburg in the Royal/Monarch Challenge on Saturday afternoon at Fitzpatrick Field.
Hintz picked up his 31st career victory and 21st career save in the win. The 21 shutouts are fifth-most in school history, and he now has 164 career saves, 11th on the school's all-time list.
The Royals were on their heels early, as Gettysburg (0-1) kept the pressure on in the opening 15 minutes. But Hintz made his first great save of the day in the 12th minute when he leapt back to tip a header just over the crossbar. He made another strong stop just over three minutes later and a potential goal by the Bullets on the rebound was nullified by an offsides call.
Scranton took advantage in the 23rd minute, scoring on a Gettysburg miscue on a corner kick. Royals freshman midfielder Jonathan Roberts (Whitehouse Station, N.J./Immaculata-Somerville) sent the corner kick toward the near post. In the ensuing battle, a Gettysburg player tried to clear the ball and accidentally knocked it into his own next for what would be the only goal of the match.
After most of the next 57 minutes were played in the midfield area, both teams surged forward in the final 10 minutes. Hintz made his second outstanding save of the match in the 84th minute when he dove to his right to snare a shot from the top of the box before it could curl into the left corner.
Less than 30 seconds later, Royals junior midfielder James Harris (Massapequa, N.Y./Chaminade) went looking for the insurance goal, but was denied by the Gettysburg keeper on a nice save. Hintz went on to make one more save a minute later before Scranton closed out the victory.
The Bullets held a 12-10 edge in shots and each team had three corner kicks.
In Saturday's other game in the Royal/Monarch Challenge, Cabrini posted a 2-1 victory at King's. Scranton will host Cabrini at 2 p.m. on Sunday while Gettysburg will visit King's at 2 p.m.