COLUMBIA, S.C. (judolphins.com) – The Jacksonville University men's soccer team traveled to Columbia, South Carolina on Wednesday night to verse the University of South Carolina in their third remaining match of the regular season. The non-conference matchup resulted in a 3-2 victory for the Dolphins (5-5-2).
"I thought tonight was our most complete game that our boys played. They managed the game well. It is a very difficult place to play against a very good team. Our attitude and effort today was second to none," commented Head Coach Mauricio B. Ruiz.
Sophomore goalkeeper Matt Levy started in goal for the Dolphins and recorded three saves on the evening to assist in the victory. Levy, who has been consistent between the pipes all season for Jacksonville continues to lead the ASUN in save percentage (.775).
Jacksonville recorded seven shots in the first half and out shot USC 7-3. The Dolphins were first to open scoring as well. In the opening seconds of play sophomore forward Reggie Nicolas recorded a pair of shots. Nicolas earned his first career goal in last weeks match against USF. At the five-minute mark senior forward Jesus Colombo took a shot and quickly after Nicolas tallied his third shot of the evening. In the 19th minute Senior forward Kai Bennett single handedly recorded his first goal of the season as he beat the USC keeper. In the 25th minute, Colombo took his second shot of the night to the center of the net that resulted in a frenzy for USC to make the team save. In the final minutes of the half junior midfielder Nazar Deputat attempted to raise the advantage but his shot was saved by the USC keeper. After dominating in the first 45 minutes Jacksonville entered halftime holding a one goal advantage over USC.
Jacksonville recorded six more shots in the second half including an early goal. Junior midfielder Connar Lufkin recorded the second goal of the night in the 46th minute with an assist from Bennett. Lufkin, who serves as captain of the Dolphins leads the team in goals scored this season. At 50:59 Colombo fired off another shot on goal. Freshman defender Cole Reasonover recorded his first career shot in the 64th minute with a ball that went out to the right side of the net. At 67:26 sophomore forward Inti Antunez recorded the third goal of the night with the help of Lufkin. Lufkin is recognized as the Hodges Mazda Player Of The Game. Two minutes later sophomore midfielder Jake Johnson took a shot to the center of the net.
In the 79th minute USC put themselves on the board as Brian Banaham and Logan Frost recorded the first goal of the night for the home team.
Deputat recorded the final shot of the night for JU at 86:57.
Tucker Monheimer scored for USC in the final seconds of regulation but Jacksonville maintained the lead to secure the victory.
"We keep talking about one game season, this game is over and behind us and now we have to get ready for a one game season against Liberty. The guys now have confidence than you can go on the road against a good team like South Carolina and get a good result. Coming home and playing against a good Liberty team is not going to be an easy task but the guys certainly feel they are more than capable of it," Ruiz concluded.
Jacksonville will return home to Southern Oak Stadium on Saturday night for their final home game of the season against Liberty. Prior to the start of the game the Dolphins will host their senior day ceremony to recognize this year's seven seniors.
ASUN Men's Soccer Upcoming Schedule - Saturday, Oct. 26
Liberty at Jacksonville - 7 PM
NJIT at FGCU - 7 PM (Facebook)
North Florida at Lipscomb - 7 PM CT (YouTube)