Men’s soccer drops preseason finale to Flagler, 4-2
The JU men’s soccer team dug themselves out of a two-goal deficit, but returned back to the hole to drop a 4-2 decision against Flagler in an exhibition match at the Ashley Sports Complex on Friday night.

After falling behind 2-0 in the first half, the Dolphins cut the lead to end the frame and tied the match less than two minutes into the second half on a goal by junior Tyler Williams. The Saints bounced back with goals by Zach Shanahan and Olawale Olaoye to hold off the surging Dolphins.

Saints goalie Matt Gilman recorded five saves, while Arnel Selman had assists on three of the four goals to help the cause.

“This is definitely not the way we wanted to end the preseason,” said JU head coach Mike Johnson. “We had too many mental mistakes which caused us to progress backwards from last week’s result. The great thing is we have a couple of days to fix them before the opener. Overall, I am pleased with how our preseason camp went and now it’s time to get going for real on Wednesday.”

The Saints took advantage of the same JU defensive mistake twice to take a 2-0 lead in the first half.

In the 22nd minute, Mack Hough slid behind the Dolphins’ backline on the left side and pushed a cross from Selman inside of the post for a goal. Cameron Will used the same method less than four minutes later by hitting the top of the net with a shot for the commanding lead.

Sophomore Davide Faga cut the deficit for JU by scoring on free kick in the 36th minute that took a wicked bounce by going low and skipping above Gilman’s head.

In the second half, the Dolphins went on the attack early by having a cross punched out by Gilman less than a minute into the frame. Williams delivered for JU in the 47th minute with a shot that slid off his back into the goal for the tying score.

The momentum was short lived as Shanahan scored the game-winning goal from 12-yards out on a deflection by Selman in the 52nd minute.

Senior Nedim Hrustic almost tied the match for the Dolphins at the 17:36 mark of the second half after having an open shot in front of the net, but his legs got tangled with the Saints’ defenders and the ball slipped free.

The Saints received an insurance goal with less than 12 minutes remaining after Olaoya scored on a longer header to put the match out of reach.

JU goalie Zach Greenwald had one save in the first half, while Zack Brewer saw all the action in the second half between the posts.

The Dolphins will regroup for their season opener on Sept. 1 at UCF. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.