Men’s soccer scores three unanswered goals for rain-soaked win over Upstate
Casey Tafuri scored his first goal in nearly two years for the Dolphins.
Casey Tafuri scored his first goal in nearly two years for the Dolphins.
Not even a torrential downpour could stymie the JU men’s soccer team as the Dolphins played through a driving first-half rain storm to post a 3-0 victory over USC Upstate on Friday night at the Ashley Sports Complex.

Senior Darko Karamatic and sophomore Trey Collins netted first-half goals for the early lead and senior Casey Tafuri added the insurance marker in the 74th minute to lift the Dolphins back to .500 overall (5-5-1) while staying undefeated in Atlantic Sun Conference play.

The Dolphins posted a 21-12 total edge in shots and have wins over Mercer and the Spartans and six out of a possible six points to start league play entering Sunday’s home contest against ETSU. USC Upstate fell to 4-5-1 and 1-1-1 against the A-Sun.

“We came into this weekend with designs on getting six points, and earning this win was the first step,” JU coach Mike Johnson said. “It was good to see offensive contributions from multiple players and we executed well playing on a soggy field.”

The slick grass didn’t slow down the Dolphins early. Karamatic took Nick Rodriguez’s feed and blasted a shot inside the right post past goalkeeper Jason McCabe just 4:19 into the contest for the early lead. That marked Karamatic’s first goal of the season.

McCabe would finish with seven total saves but couldn’t get a hand on Collins’ shot from eight yards out in the 41st minute. Collins took advantage of frantic movements inside the box following a deflection. Collins hit a low left-side shot for his second goal of 2011.

Senior Daniele Campailla assisted on the goal, giving him five points in his last two games after the forward’s two-goal effort propelled JU to a 2-1 win over Mercer in the A-Sun opener on Sunday.

Tafuri’s scoring strike marked the defender’s first goal since Oct. 25, 2009 against ETSU.

Sophomore goalkeeper Gavin Carlin improved to 2-0 though his first two starts for JU. The netminder posted four saves. Senior Johnny Foley, who started the first nine games for the Dolphins, played the entire second half and finished with one save. The combined shutout marked the second time the Dolphins blanked an opponent, with the first shutdown effort coming in a 2-0 home win over UMass on Sept. 4.

JU will get ready to face ETSU on Sunday at 2 p.m. Fans who cannot make it out to the Ashley Sports Complex will be able to view the video stream through ASun.TV.

- By Brian Bohl