PORTLAND, Ore. - Jacksonville men's soccer (0-5-0) met the undefeated Portland Pilots (4-0-1) Saturday night for the first time in program history. Jacksonville threatened the Pilot's lead late into the second half before eventually falling 4-1.
The scoring came early and often in the first half with three total goals in the first 10 minutes of action. It began with the Pilots applying pressure early, ripping their first shot 30 seconds in. Two and a half minutes later Portland's Ray Ortiz supplied a perfectly placed free kick that was headed by junior Esteban Calvo into the net, opening the scoring. There was little goalkeeper Eli Lasley could do in terms of making the save.
Minutes later, Portland was awarded a penalty kick when Lasley collided with a potential goal scorer. The Pilots took advantage of the opportunity and added a second goal off Alejandro Pereira's boot to push their lead to 2-0.
Despite the early goals, Jacksonville put together an offensive assault that lasted the remainder of the half. The Dolphins found life when Connar Lufkin chased down a ball in Portland territory that would lead to a corner kick. Inti Antunez served it up nicely for sophomore Alex Dixon, who headed the ball through for the first goal of his collegiate career. The 2-1 score would remain as the teams headed to the locker rooms for halftime.
Things cooled off in the second half with neither team able to add a goal through the 76th minute. Portland would find it's insurance goal with the match winding down as Ortiz took a shot from the far right wing twelve yards out to make the score 3-1. A fourth goal was added to the Pilot's tally with six minutes remaining when a shot bounced off the post, then off the back of Lasley's leg, and then back into the net for an Jacksonville own-goal.
"I'm really proud of the players' effort today. It's the first time for 90 minutes we've looked like a complete team," said Jacksonville head coach Maruicio Ruiz." "I'm just absolutely gutted that the result did not reflect their effort. However, if we continue to have this kind of performance and effort we're gonna win a lot of games going forward."
Jacksonville will have the week off before returning to Southern Oak Stadium Saturday, Sept. 15 for a home tilt with Georgia Southern (2-1-1). That match is scheduled for 7 PM.