SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 17, 2007
Men's soccer falls in penalty shootout

Nov. 17, 2007

Box Score

DELAND, Fla. - The JU men's soccer dream season came to a heartbreaking halt on Saturday after falling to Campbell in a penalty shootout 5-4, after the game ended in a 1-1 tie at the Stetson Soccer Complex.

With the shootout tied at 4 goals a piece, tournament MVP Vince Petrasso managed to squeeze his penalty past freshman goalkeeper Matt Gilman, who got a hand on it, and sealed the victory for the Camels. This was the first time in A-Sun history that the championship game had to be decided in a shootout.

"This is a gut-wrenching feeling for the team," said JU head coach Mike Johnson. "To play as hard as we did for 110 minutes and to come up short, doesn't do any justice for the type of performance that the kids did on the field today. I'm very proud of the team for winning the regular season championship. That shows the consistency that we played at in the league. Even today I felt we were the better team, but the better team doesn't always win in situations that go down to penalties.

"Hopefully the guys will use this experience as a building block for next season and as we try to defend our regular season championship and make it a goal of winning the 2008 A-Sun Championship."

The Dolphins took the lead in the 33rd minute after good work from sophomore midfielder Riley Butler made a run down the right sideline and crossed into the path of senior forward Anton Axelsson, who slotted home his 16th goal of the season past the Camels' first team all-conference goalkeeper Aaron Johnson.

Campbell equalized through first team all-conference midfielder Richard Jata in the 60th minute, who fired the direct free kick from the far left into the back of the net with the Dolphins' defense expecting a cross. The Dolphins almost regained the lead immediately after, when a free kick from junior midfielder flashed just wide of the far post. Sophomore midfielder Jonathan Jackson narrowly missed connecting with the ball before it went wide.

The Camels came close in the 74th minute when a header from midfielder Josh Elliot went just over the bar, but that was it for regulation and the game was sent into overtime.

Both overtimes were sluggish as the effect of playing just two days earlier was evident from both teams. This was the first time since 1984 that the A-Sun championship game went into double-overtime.

Axelsson , Meyner, junior forward Sebastian Lindholm and sophomore midfielder Riley Butler scored penalty kicks for the Dolphins, while forwards Josue Soto and Jason Keever and midfielders Josh Elliot and Jata were also on target for the Camels. Senior defender Brian Cocciolo saw his penalty graze over the crossbar.

For their gallant performances, Axelsson, Jackson, and sophomore defender Eddie Munnelly were named to the all-tournament team. Axelsson, this season's A-Sun "Player of the Year", was also named to the all-tournament team last season.

"I'm excited for the guys that got picked for the all-tournament team," Johnson said. "They are all deserving. This has been a team effort all season and I know each of those guys would trade in this honor for a different outcome of the match."

2007 A-Sun all-tournament team

Vince Petrasso, Campbell

Richard Jata, Campbell

Stephen Oyuga, Campbell

Michael Hutchison, Campbell

Aaron Johnson, Campbell

Anton Axelsson, Jacksonville

Jonathon Jackson, Jacksonville

Eddie Munnelly, Jacksonville

Miguel DaSilva, Lipscomb

Ben Page, Lipscomb

Tanner Wolfe, Stetson