NASHVILLE, TENN. - No. 4 Jacksonville defeated No. 5 Liberty in the First Round of the ASUN Conference Men's Soccer Championship 2-0 to advance into the Semifinal. With the win, the Dolphins will now meet defending ASUN Championship title holders Lipscomb in a rematch of the 2017 ASUN Championship Final.
The Dolphins and Flames had plenty of chances in the first half but came up empty on both sides to keep the score at 0-0 heading into the break. Tresor Mbuyu of Liberty nearly opened the scoring midway through the first 45 minutes but found the post to deflect the ball back into play. Freshman keeper Matt Levy of Jacksonville faced six shots in the first half, making one save and watching the others from the feet of Liberty players go wide of goal.
Second half action continued to the status quo of the first 45 minutes, still remaining scoreless heading past the 55th minute. But in the 56th, Alex Dixon of JU broke the scoring open with a header down into the net off a corner kick. After that, the Dolphins steadied the flow of the game and started to take over and look for another score. Liberty had a few chances to tie the game as well, nearly getting one from Mbuyu before it was deflected wide of goal by Matt Levy.
With just a handful of minutes remaining, Jacksonville found the back of the net again as Jose Manzo secured the victory with an insurance goal in the 87th minute. Manzo had just entered the game off the bench moments before and his fresh legs were evident on a run into the offensive third, finished with nifty passing from the slew of Dolphins in front of the net. As mentioned before, the Dolphins now await the Bisons of Lipscomb for a chance to reach the Championship Final. Kick off for that contest is slated for 2 PM CT on Facebook Live.
No. 4 Jacksonville vs. No. 5 Liberty Notes
- The game remained scoreless for the first 56 minutes before the score was broken by Alex Dixon for JU on a header goal
- Jacksonville advances to the ASUN Semifinals for the third-straight season, making the Finals in each of the first two instances
- Freshman keeper Matt Levy recorded his first career clean sheet in his first career postseason game for the Dolphins
- Jacksonville's meeting with Lipscomb on Sunday marks a rematch of the ASUN Final from 2017, a 2-1 victory for the Bisons
- Liberty finishes its first season as an ASUN member with an overall record of 7-7-1 with a 2-3-1 mark in conference play