FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 21, 2008
Men’s soccer needs overtime to down Louisville in NCAA First Round, 4-3
The JU men’s soccer team has been backed into a corner several times in the past two weeks, but has found a way to rally late in the last three matches.
On Friday night, the Dolphins (12-8-1) faced elimination in the NCAA Tournament – trailing Louisville 3-2 with less than three minutes remaining in regulation.
Stefan Runeman scored off of a free kick with less than two minutes left to force overtime, where Nedim Hrustic won the match just over a minute into the extra session, sending JU to the second round of the NCAAs with an epic 4-3 win over Louisville.
Senior midfielder Aaron Chaphan had a goal and an assist for the Cardinals (11-8-2) in the loss.
JU now advances to play No. 13 seed North Carolina on Nov. 25 in Chapel, N.C., at 6 p.m.
"I'm at a loss for words," said JU head coach Mike Johnson. "This was a fantastic way to finish our first NCAA Tournament win. I'm really proud of the way our guys played.
"We got some confidence after the first goal, but the Cardinals answered quickly. Our guys chipped away and found a way to get the win. We are excited to continue on in the NCAA Tournament and look forward to playing North Carolina on Tuesday."
The Dolphins wasted no time getting on the scoreboard to take a 1-0 lead as senior midfielder Ramak Niakan Safi scored to the right of Cardinals freshman goalie Andre Bourdreaux on a pass from sophomore forward Tony Taylor.
Clapham tied the match for the Cardinals with less than 13 minutes remaining in the half when he snuck a shot past a JU defender and junior goalie Joey Sanchez after they both came out to block him.
The Cardinals took a 2-1 advantage with less than a two minutes remaining in the half on junior midfielder Zachery Hernan's standing sideways kick that spin just inside the top left corner of the net.
Taylor even the match in the less than 14 minutes into the second half when he can from the out bounds line on the left side of the net and deflected his shot off a Cardinal defender for his sixth goal of the season.
With less than six minutes remaining, the Dolphins were whistled for a foul to give the Cardinals a free kick from 30-yards out. Clapham passed the ball to senior midfielder Ryan McDonald, who headed it into the right corner of the net past a diving Sanchez for a 3- 2 advantage.
The Dolphins showed they still had life in them as Runeman scored on a free kick with less than a minute remaining to tie the match for the third time.
The Cardinals had two shots on a goal in the final 30 seconds with Sanchez away from the net, but freshman defender Nurdin Hrustic, twin brother of Nedim, was there to clear both shots from the net and send the match into overtime.
Less than two minutes in overtime, Hrustic blasted a shot into the left corner of the net on an assist by freshman midfielder Kristian Lassen to send JU into the second round of the tournament.
The Dolphins will head back to Jacksonville before traveling to face the Tar heels on Tuesday. Like tonight's match, the Tuesday affair will also available on Gametracker starting at 6 p.m.
2008 MEN'S SOCCER