JMU men’s soccer didn’t skip a beat after its CAA championship-winning weekend. Behind a goal from senior forward Aaron Ward-Baptiste and two from junior midfielder Manuel Ferriol, the Dukes defeated No. 13 High Point in the first round of the NCAA tournament.
"I felt that our team was going to be up for the game,” head coach Paul Zazenski told JMU Athletics. “Sometimes as a coach you can feel it in the pregame team meetings and I knew they were locked in.”
In the 19th minute, a pinpoint cross from graduate student Yannick Franz landed at the feet of Baptiste. The Englishman was able to slot it home, putting JMU up 1-0.
Twelve minutes later, Ferriol doubled the Dukes’ lead. A free kick was powered into the bottom left corner, giving him his seventh goal of the season.
“I thought we played a very strong first half of soccer,” Zazenski told JMU Athletics. “Any time you can go up two goals at half time that's a sign of a good half, but we knew it was going to be a battle.”
Ferriol wasn’t done yet. In the 70th minute, the Spaniard unleashed a powerful shot that flew past the Panthers’ redshirt junior goalkeeper Keegan Meyer to make it 3-0 and all but finished.
The match would end 3-0 in JMU’s favor. Redshirt sophomore goalkeeper TJ Bush and the Dukes’ defense earned their 12th shutout of the season, which is tied for second in the nation.
JMU will now face No. 5 UNC in Chapel Hill on Sunday. Kick-off is at 7 p.m.
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