Men’s soccer posts weekend sweep with 2-1 win over ETSU
Tyler Williams netted the eventual game-winner in the 61st minute.
Tyler Williams netted the eventual game-winner in the 61st minute.
Entering the weekend, JU coach Mike Johnson said winning both games against USC Upstate and ETSU would determine if the Dolphins could help solidify a conference tournament spot and allow the team a chance to focus on seeding.

The Dolphins fulfilled their coach’s request, staying undefeated against the Atlantic Sun Conference with a 2-1 win over ETSU on Sunday afternoon at the Ashley Sports Complex. Tyler Williams’ 61st-minute goal broke the deadlock and helped JU improve to 6-5-1 overall and 3-0-0 in league play.

“It was good to see our team come back from being down one goal to get the win over a talented ETSU squad,” Johnson said. “We went into this week with designs on getting two wins at home and after accomplishing that feat, we need to maintain our focus if we want to accomplish our goal of earning sole possession of first place.”

JU erased a 1-0 first-half deficit, tying the game at 1 just 5:24 before halftime when senior Darko Karamatic dribbled around a defender at the left side of the box before firing a clear shot that beat Ryan Coulter for his second goal of the season.

Williams netted the game winner just 5:51 after the break, capitalizing on fellow senior Chris Helms’ athletic play. Helms gained possession near the goal line five yards wide of the right post. After trying to juke one ETSU defender to establish some space, Williams darted into the box for a one-time attempt. Helms hit him with a crisp lateral pass and Williams buried the shot from three yards in front of the left post, recording his season’s third goal.

In a span of two days, JU defeated the Spartans and Bucs, earning nine out of a possible nine points in A-Sun play following a road win at Mercer last week. The Dolphins entered the afternoon one of just three teams undefeated in the conference, joining FGCU and Belmont.

Sophomore Gavin Carlin improved to 3-0 to start his JU career. The Dolphins netminder posted two saves in playing all 90 minutes. Coulter notched four saves in the losing effort.

The only play that prevented a potential Carlin shutout bid was a penalty-kick goal in the 27th minute for the Bucs. ETSU’s leading scorer Aaron Schoenfeld picked up his sixth scoring strike of the year, blasting the PK attempt to the low right side just past Carlin’s outstretched hand to give the visitor’s a 1-0 lead.

Nearly six minutes before Schoenfeld’s goal, the Dolphins also had a chance to score off a penalty kick. Senior Stefan Durr took the kick for the Dolphins but Coulter made the save, marking the first unsuccessful Dolphins PK attempt in three chances this year.

JU has won four in a row and five of its last six. The Dolphins will try and extend that hot streak heading into its longest road trip of the year for two games in Nashville, Tenn. First up will be a Friday night contest at Lipscomb on Friday at 7 p.m. local time before a Sunday matchup at Belmont with a 2 p.m. kickoff.

- By Brian Bohl