SUNDAY, OCTOBER 14, 2007
Men's soccer shuts out Stetson 1-0
Oct. 14, 2007
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - JU men's soccer team defeated Stetson by a score of 1-0 Sunday night at the Ashley Sports Complex.
Senior forward Anton Axelsson scored the only goal after an assist from junior midfielder Ramak Niakan safi and senior defender Austin Earl. After receiving the pass from Earl, Niakan Safi turned his defender and sent a beautiful cross to Axelsson, who had no problem beating the Hatters' goalkeeper. Axelsson now has nine goals on the season - one more than he had all of last season.
"This was a huge game for us," said JU head coach Mike Johnson. "Our guys have been challenged all year to step up and do whatever is necessary for us to stay at the top of the conference, and tonight was no exception. Stetson is a good team. They have had some big wins - in and out of conference and are rated very highly.
"In the goals that we set for the team, we knew if we are going to win the A-Sun championship, we have to win at home and our guys have been set on that. Ramak Niakan safi gave us quality effort coming in the game as a spark and had a quality assist on Anton's goal. I am very proud of the whole team on the way they handled the atmosphere of the match. It was a big game - a physical game, and they did whatever it took to be successful. Unfortunately, they can't enjoy it very long, as we have to get ready for a huge game on Wednesday."
Freshman goalkeeper Matt Gilman made three saves for the Dolphins and along with defenders Brian Cocciolo, Austin Earl, Eddie Munnelly and Patrick Rundio, recorded the Dolphins second shutout of the weekend.
"The defending has been fantastic over the past two games," Johnson said. "Going into the season one of our goals was to be a better defensive team than we have been in the past and they have taken it to heart. Goalkeeping, whether it was Matt Gilman or Joey Sanchez, proved they can win us games. If we have to win 1 - 0, we can, and I think we have proved that this year."
Both teams knew they were in for a physical matchup and by the time the referee blew the final whistle, there had been a total of 33 fouls (19 in the first half alone) and three yellow cards.
The Dolphins will be in action again on Wednesday, taking on North Florida at 7 p.m. at the Ashley Sports Complex.
2007 MEN'S SOCCER