The Canisius College men's soccer team played its second-straight draw to open the 2012 campaign after a 0-0 tie with Robert Morris on Sunday afternoon. The Griffs are now 0-0-2 on the year, while the Colonials are 0-1-1.
"I'm pleased that we managed to get a shutout early in the season but I wasn't happy with our performance in the first half of the game," said Canisius head coach Dermot McGrane. "I really felt like we stepped it up in the second half and we were unfortunate not to get a goal late as we had tremendous pressure on Robert Morris. Overall, I'm pleased to earn the clean sheet and remain unbeaten early in the season."
Senior netminder Kareem Gray posted his fourth career shutout in the tie, stopping six Robert Morris shots to preserve the clean sheet. Three of Gray's six saves came in the overtime periods to keep the contest scoreless.
Neither team had a great scoring chance in the opening 45 minutes of action before Canisius turned up the pressure in the second half of play. The Griffs held a 16-8 advantage in shots during the second stanza but could not find the back of the net.
Canisius did have a number of near misses toward the end of regulation. Sophomore forward Asani Samuels knocked a shot toward goal with just over 15 minutes remaining that got past the Robert Morris goalkeeper but struck a Canisius attacker and stayed out of the net. In the game's 80th minute, senior forward Gavin Falconer fired a shot toward goal that was saved by the Colonial netminder. Falconer corralled the loose ball in the box and had an open goal with the goalkeeper now out of position but his shot hit the post to keep the game scoreless.
Both teams had chances in the overtime but the goalkeepers were up for the task in the scoreless deadlock.
Overall, the Griffs finished with a 24-20 advantage in shots and a 6-5 edge in corner kicks. Robert Morris' Toba Bolaji recorded eight saves to keep Canisius off the scoreboard.
Canisius returns to action with a neutral-site contest against Eastern Illinois on Friday. The Griffs and Panthers are set to meet in Milwaukee for the Panther Invitational with game time slated for 6 p.m. ET.
Game Notes: The Griffs opened the season with two-straight ties for the first time since 1994 ... It also marked the first time that Canisius played to consecutive draws since 1999 ... The shutout for Gray was his first since blanking Rider on Oct. 24, 2010 ... The tie ended a two-game losing streak in the series for Canisius and also marked the first shutout for the Griffs against the Colonials since 1999, ending a 10-game scoring streak for Robert Morris in the series.