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JMU men's soccer junior forward Luca Erhardt pushes through an Elon player with the ball.

It took over an hour of physical play between two rival schools for the deadlock to be broken, but JMU sophomore midfielder Clay Obara collected his own rebound and slotted home the lone goal of the match, sealing a 1-0 victory for the Dukes over William & Mary. 

JMU entered the match as the only team in the CAA without conference loss, but the Tribe posed a formidable effort to play spoiler. The game was intense early on, shown by 10 combined fouls committing in the first half alone. 

The Dukes out-shot the Tribe 4-2 in the first half, but W&M had a 5-1 corner kick advantage. Despite both sides having opportunities to break the 0-0 score, they headed to their respective locker rooms tied. 

The physicality continued into the second half, but at the 66’, Obara broke the deadlock with a second effort to give JMU a one-goal lead. It was the first for Obara this season and the second in his collegiate career. 

Redshirt senior goalkeeper TJ Bush made key saves throughout the remainder of the match to secure the win for JMU. The victory was head coach Paul Zazenski’s 100th in his career, and the clean sheet was Bush’s 26th — putting him at a tie for first with former goalkeeper Kevin Trapp in shutouts at JMU. 

JMU moves to 4-0-1 (3-0-0 CAA) and hosts No. 9 UNCW on Friday at Sentara Park, with kickoff set for 5 p.m. William & Mary falls to 2-3-0 (1-2-0 CAA) and has a chance to bounce back Saturday against Elon. 

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