Men’s soccer downs Mercer in first round of A-Sun Tourney, 2-1
Junior midfielder Chris Helms picked the perfect time to score his first goal of the season to help lift the JU men’s soccer team past Mercer, 2-1, in the first round of the A-Sun Tournament on Saturday night in Macon, Ga.

With the score tied a 1-1 in the second half, Helms scored on a pass from junior defender Predrag Ivanovic in the 87th minute for the game-winning goal and advanced the Dolphins (9-8-2) to the conference semifinals in Johnson City, Tenn. on Nov. 11.

“I’m really proud of this group,” said JU head coach Mike Johnson. “We gave up a late goal, but we were able to find a way to win. This team has fought all year and it was nice to see it pay off for them tonight. We will enjoy this win for a little bit tonight before we turn our focus back to a tough Stetson team tomorrow.”

In the first half, the Dolphins took the first four shot attempts of the match before the Bears (10-6-1) had a shot in the 29th minute from Ian Cameron that went wide.

Less than three minutes later, junior forward Tyler Williams headed the ball in the goal off a rebounded shot from senior forward Nedim Hrustic to give the Dolphins a 1-0 lead.

JU limited Mercer to just one shot for the rest of the half to take the lead into the locker room.

The Bears opened the second half on the attack with four attempts in the first 15 minutes, but sophomore goalie Zach Greenwald saved two shots and the others went wide.

In the 73rd minute, Mercer finally found the back of the net as Ryan Young scored from a corner kick attempt by Cameron.

Williams and junior foward Daniele Campailla each had an attempt sail away from the goal for JU before Helms connected to help the Dolphins regain the lead.

Mercer got a corner kick less than a minute after the Helms’ goal, but committed a foul as the ball was delivered into the box to give JU back the ball.

The Dolphins will play the No. 2 seeded Hatters for the second time in less than two weeks in Johnson City, Tenn. The teams recorded a 1-1 tie to close out the regular season on Oct. 31 in DeLand, which helped JU secure its berth to the A-Sun Tournament.

Kickoff for the match will be announced at the beginning of the week.