TAAC Reigns Supreme As Jacksonville and Georgia State Post Victories

September 3, 1999

Jacksonville, Fla. - Jacksonville (1-0) and Georgia State (1-0) made the Trans America Athletic Conference (TAAC) proud on Friday afternoon at the Ashley Sports Complex on the campus of Jacksonville University as both teams claimed season-opening victories in the 1999 Nike/JU Legends Men's Soccer Tournament. Georgia State posted a 1-0 victory over a physical Drake University (0-1) in game one, while Jacksonville downed the University of Massachusetts 3-1 in the day's second game.

Georgia State senior Jimmy Nardello scored the Panthers' lone goal in the game's 48th minute and senior goalkeeper Walter Valesky made a series of big saves in the game's final 20 minutes to make it stand up in the 1-0 victory. Valesky made five saves in the game, saving his best for last in a one-on-one situation with less than ten minutes to play.

In game two, Jacksonville jumped out on top with a beautiful finish off the head of senior Mladen Dikic on a pass from junior Mike Popovic in the game's 12th minute. Freshman Bruno Caiexta wasted no time in making his presence felt for the Dolphins as he scored the game's second goal at 34:41, less than two minutes after entering his first collegiate game. The combination of Dikic and Popovic hooked up once again at the 67:58 mark in the second half as the Dolphins took a 3-0 lead. UMass' Todd Baron broke up the Jacksonville shutout bid as he capitalized on a penalty-kick opportunity in the game's 85th minute to provide the game's final 3-1 margin.

Jacksonville's junior goalkeeper Petar Popovic equalled the performance of Valesky in game one, picking up eight saves and dominating his goal area. In addition to Popovic's two assists, sophomore Bole Acimovic and freshman Michael Blackburn picked up assists for the Dolphins.

All four teams will return to action on Sunday, September 5th with Georgia State taking on UMass at 11:00 A.M. and Jacksonville playing Drake at 1:00 P.M.