After being deadlocked for a little over 75 minutes, two late goals three minutes apart propelled JMU men’s soccer to a 2-0 victory against Georgetown. The goals from redshirt junior Evan Southern and freshman midfielder Kevin Larsson carried the Dukes to their second win in three games.
“I’m so proud of the guys tonight,” JMU head coach Paul Zazenski said. “It’s been a rough start to the season. I think our guys just responded in an exceptional way. I couldn’t be more proud of the game plan the guys executed and how hard we played tonight to get a win.”
At 5’, it looked like the Dukes took an early lead after redshirt junior midfielder Rodrigo Robles fired a shot on goal that the Georgetown goalkeeper had no chance of saving. But it bounced off the crossbar, keeping the game scoreless.
Lazy defending led to a giveaway in the JMU penalty box for a Hoyas chance. Georgetown freshman forward Jacob Murrell had a clear look at goal, but his shot was saved by JMU freshman goalkeeper Sebastian Conlon.
Conlon’s five saves in the first half were enough to keep the game scoreless at the halftime whistle. The Hoyas outshot the Dukes 9-5 in the first half and tallied three corner kicks to JMU’s zero.
Outside of many fouls throughout the second half, no goals had been scored. That was until Southern beat the defender and willed the ball into the bottom corner of the net for the go-ahead goal.
“I just made the run and saw the other center back out of the corner of my eye,” Southern said. “I thought, ‘He’s either gonna foul me or let me go,’ and he let me go, I took another touch and I saw the keeper shift so I just put it in the other side.”
It didn’t take long for the Dukes to double their lead. At 82’, Larsson fired a shot from the edge of the box at sophomore goalie Luca Ulrich, who failed to control the ball and allowed it to cross the line for the 2-0 lead.
“I just had one defender on me,” Larsson said. “I dribbled, tried to hit it at goal and I was able to beat the goalie.”
JMU saw out the remaining time to defeat the Hoyas 2-0. With the win, the Dukes move to 3-4 and will return to Sun Belt Conference action Sep. 25 against Old Dominion.
“ODU is really tough away,” Zazenski said. “Every Sun Belt game is really tough away. We gotta carry some of this momentum into that game and realize what worked and continue to do it. It feels good to get a win, but we gotta certainly look to ODU, battle and get a result out there.”