JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Despite outshooting the Valparaiso Crusaders 19-8 in the match, the Jacksonville University men’s soccer team season opener resulted in a goalless tie on Friday night at Southern Oak Stadium.
While the score didn’t reflect the high energy of the game, both teams battled and, unfortunately, the Dolphins weren’t able to capitalize on a man advantage after Valpo’s Daniel Killen was red-carded midway through the second half.
JU’s best scoring attempts of the first half came off of back-to-back shots from Matheus Saroli and Nick Rodriguez. With 14:25 on the clock, Saroli beat his defender and launched the ball at the net. The ball deflected off of Crusader keeper, Tom Serratore, and landed at the feet of Rodriguez who sent it back to the keeper for another save.
The defensive effort was stellar for the Dolphins; for most of the night the Crusaders were unable to penetrate JU’s back line and had only one shot in the first half, which was also the teams’ sole shot on goal.
Saroli lead JU in shots and had three near-scores in the match, including a free kick that hit the post and bounced out in the middle of the second half.
The two periods of extra time came and went with little to show for either side.
The Dolphins (0-0-1) return to Southern Oak Stadium on Sunday at 2 p.m. to face Western Illinois in the conclusion of the Mike Gibbs Memorial Tournament.
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