BOCA RATON, Fla. – Continuing the theme of its epic 2-1 comeback win over Georgia State on Saturday in harsh conditions, Jacksonville University again overcame adversity in the score and in the weather Tuesday in a 2-1 comeback win at Florida Atlantic. The match required two extra periods to be decided in the Dolphins' favor after the game was tied 1-1 after two halves.
"This is a huge win for our players," said Head Coach Mauricio Ruiz. "The conditions were tough with cross winds and we had to adapt. FAU gave us a lot of trouble. It wasn't a pretty performance but you need games like this if you want to compete for championships. Today was a character win."
Adversity started early with rain so hard that it cancelled the broadcast of the game to protect the equipment and the camera people, but the two teams decided to press on. That adversity became even more challenging to overcome in the sixth minute of the game, when Carlos Sanchis placed a roller in the far corner of the net off of a rebound from Aaron Laranneto's shot attempt. Florida Atlantic led 1-0 less than 10 minutes in.
That proved to be the only goal of the game though as Jacksonville's defense became an iron curtain. The Owls wouldn't get another shot off in the half, and had only three more shots through the second half and both overtime periods combined. The Dolphins' offense also ratcheted it up a notch from that point forward, attempting eight shots in the first half, including what proved to be Lee Nicholson's first goal in a JU uniform in the 36th minute that knotted the game at 1-1.
Neither team could break the tie in the second period, though JU outshot FAU 5-3 and showed considerably more restraint, with the Owls out-fouling the Dolphins 5-1 in that same span. Very little notable happened in the first overtime either, with just a shot by Bryson Pink that tracked over the net and an offsides against FAU appearing offensively.
Just three minutes in to the second overtime Jacksonville made its final push. Sam Gardner and Igor Ferreira danced down the field and got the keeper to gamble, and as the goalie committed to his choice Gardner passed to Ferreira, who hit a shot across goal from about 15 feet out to nail the game winner.
Jacksonville is now riding a two-game win streak heading back into ASUN Conference play this weekend. The Dolphins will host USC Upstate on Saturday at 7.