Jacksonville Seniors Flourish in 3-1 Home Victory vs. FAU

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Jacksonville men's soccer (4-11, 3-2 ASUN) hosted in-state opponent Florida Atlantic (2-10, 1-4 C-USA) at Southern Oak Stadium Tuesday night, toppling the Owls 3-1. It was senior night for the Dolphins, and the class did not disappoint as they produced two of the three goals scored.

The Dolphins flew out of the gates with a relentless attack, challenging FAU goalkeeper Hagay Jalon with 10 first half shots. It took 22 minutes before Jacksonville converted one of those shots into a score. It was senior Selemani Baruani who dribbled the ball into range and captured his fourth goal of the year. 

Jacksonville goalkeeper Patrick Harding faced troubled as well when a called handball gave FAU a chance at a penalty kick. The ball sailed just high of the goal, and Harding managed to escape the first half with his team up 1-0. 

However, early in the second half Gonzalo Pena managed to tie things up with a goal for the Owls. The Dolphins showed their resilience mere minutes later as they barraged FAU's second half goalkeeper with three consecutive shots. The third shot came from junior Connar Lufkin and reached the back of the net, giving Jacksonville a 2-1 lead. 

The narrow advantage lasted 20 more minutes as Harding repeatedly batted away every FAU shot. Then, in the 75th minute senior Igor Ferreira caught a pass from Baruani and made good on his shot, extending the lead to 3-1. It was Ferreira's third goal of the season, and Baruani's second assist. 

Jacksonville stopped any attempt to get back in the game by the Owls, and Jacksonville was able to collect their second win in three matches. When the clock hit 90, Harding had recorded nine saves on FAU's 20 total shots. The Dolphins' 19 total shots were the most they've attempted in any single match this season.

"All the seniors came out and performed well. Pat shutting down the goal, Igor scored a goal, Sele scored a goal…We were able to get a team win, which is obviously the most important thing, but it's only fair that they were able to have a great win of their own on Senior Night," said Head Coach Mauricio Ruiz.

"Any game builds momentum, but more than just the win I think our performance was really good."

Next, Jacksonville hosts first place FGCU at Southern Oak Stadium for their final regular season contest. That match will be played Saturday, Oct. 27 at 7 PM, and will be broadcast on ESPN+. 

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