HILLSIDE, N.J. – Though Jacksonville University outshot NJIT 10-7, the Dolphins men's soccer team fell 4-1 at the Highlanders' stadium on Saturday. The lone JU goal came on a header by Cam Grassmyer, his first career score.
The Highlanders began the scoring early when Mamadou Guirassy added to his best-in-the-nation goal total with his 13th on the year in the fifth minute. That gave NJIT a 1-0 advantage. Connar Lufkin tried to put in the equalizer just three minutes later on a header, but his aim was off a bit and the ball trailed wide. NJIT struck again in the 16th minute, using a last-second cross that was then put in by Danny Cordeiro. The Highlanders led 2-0 with just under 20 minutes left in the half.
Grassmyer attempted a header in the 19th minute that was narrowly saved by the Highlander keeper. Grassmyer tried again in the 24th minute, and this time found the back of the net. The senior received the assist from Igor Ferreira on a free kick, giving Ferreira his team-leading seventh point on the year. With about 11 minutes left in the period JU had pulled within one, 2-1.
NJIT's third goal of the day came on its third shot of the half. Pablo Jimenez took a corner kick, then Jonathan Onyeaka did an impression of Grassmyer, netting his first career goal on a header. The Highlanders led 3-1 with 14 minutes left in the half, and held that advantage until the end of the period despite a header on goal by Sam Gardner.
Jacksonville upped its aggressiveness in the second half, quickly firing off two shots that looked like they'd pull the Dolphins within one. Ejiroghene Mrabure took a shot that was punch saved by the goalie, and off the deflection Mrabure again attempted to put the ball in, but it sailed just high of the crossbar. JU attempted three more shots over the next 20 minutes; two by Alberto Escobedo and one by Ignazio Muccilli, but none could find the back of the net.
The game was put out of reach in the 89th minute when Guirassy scored his 14th goal of the year on a pass from Thomas Radon.
The Dolphins are still well in the playoff hunt with just three games remaining in the regular season. JU hosts Stetson (6-5-0, 4-0-0 ASUN) next Friday, then closes the home schedule with North Florida (1-8-1, 0-2-0 ASUN) on Sep. 25 and wraps the regular season at Lipscomb (6-6-0, 1-3-0 ASUN) on Sep. 28.