Riding high off its three match win streak, JMU (5-2-1, 3-0-0 CAA) looked to continue its trend of good results. A commanding 4-0 win over Delaware helped the Dukes remain at the top of the CAA through three matches.
A stunning bicycle kick goal from senior forward Aaron Ward-Baptiste gave JMU an early lead. A tap in the 29th minute from junior midfielder Tim Estermann, a rifling shot from junior forward Lewis Long IV and a tidy finish from junior midfielder Manuel Ferriol lifted the Dukes to a 4-0 win.
“It was a good team win,” head coach Paul Zazenski said. “We started off a little slow once again, we’ve got to work on that first ten minutes because Delaware came out and played some good soccer, but once we got a hang of the game, I thought we played well. We were especially good in the final third.”
It didn’t take long for JMU to get a chance. Ward-Baptiste was able to dribble around the Delaware goalkeeper, but took too long and senior goalkeeper Todd Martin was able to get back into position and block his shot. Just over two minutes later, the Englishman made up for the miss as he scored a bicycle kick to put the Dukes up 1-0.
With 16 minutes remaining in the first half, JMU found the net for a second time. Estermann received junior defender/midfielder Niclas Mohr’s cross and was able to tap it in to make it 2-0 for the Dukes.
“It’s always good to help the team out,” Mohr said. “It was an important win. We’re 3-0 now in the conference, which is great going into the weekend.”
JMU’s defense remained stout through the first half, only allowing one shot on goal. At the end of the first 45 minutes, the Dukes led 2-0.
It took seven minutes into the second half for JMU to strike again. Long IV danced in the box and put the ball on his left foot and rifled a shot into the back of the net for Long’s first goal of the season. The Dukes now led 3-0 through 52 minutes.
Ferriol extended JMU’s lead to four goals as he scored his first of the season. Mohr was able to lay it off to the Spaniard, whose shot left Martin with no chance to stop it.
“After last season, which was a great goal scoring season, I had a feeling that I was going to score this season,” Ferriol said. “I just kept working and I knew that something would come, and finally it came today.”
In the 69th minute, JMU was awarded a penalty. Graduate student forward Janis Lamatsch was the man to take it, but his penalty slammed off the crossbar. Delaware got the rebound and began a counterattack that ended with sophomore midfielder Ryan Mertz getting a good chance to cut the deficit to three, but his effort hit the post.
In the 88th minute, JMU was awarded another penalty. Junior forward Max Poelker took the penalty this time, but Martin was able to make the save.
Redshirt sophomore goalkeeper TJ Bush was able to close out the game and keep his shutout. The Dukes came out of the match as 4-0 winners, extending their match winning streak to four.
“[The defense and goalkeeper] have been playing well recently,” Zazenski said. “I think you gain confidence from gaining a zero, and if my numbers are right, that’s three straight shutouts. Each time you do that, you gain some confidence in your defending.”
JMU will travel to North Carolina this weekend to take on No. 14 UNCW on Saturday. The match will be held at the UNCG, with kickoff set for 1 p.m.
Contact Noah Ziegler at email@example.com. For more soccer coverage, follow the sports desk on Twitter @TheBreezeSports.