Laurinburg, NC - The JWU Men's Soccer Team took on their second NAIA opponent this season as they traveled to St. Andrews University on Tuesday. The Wildcats returned home 2-1 victors after a spirited second half comeback.
It was the tale of two halves. The first period was dominated by the Knights, with SAU outshooting the Wildcats 10-6, including a goal from Ruben Vaca in the 17th minute. JWU's best opportunity in the first came when an Ian Triplett header hit the post, but the Wildcats couldn't find the net.
The second half was all Wildcats as JWU outpaced the Knights 19-7 in shots. In the 71st minute, JWU earned a free kick right outside of the box. Midfielder Zack Savage stepped up, but his shot would ricochet off of the bottom of the cross bar. Luckily for the Wildcats, Jack Watters pounced on the loose ball in the box and tapped it past SAU goalkeeper Alessandro Benedetti to tie the game at 1 apiece. Staying on the front foot, the Wildcats would press for the game winner, and it would come in the 87th minute when Savage one-timed a Knight clearance past Benedetti. Savage's goal was his third game winning goal this season for the 7-2 Johnson & Wales Squad.
"The team showed a lot of character tonight," reflected JWU Head Coach Matt Payne. "They battled back against a quality side in a hostile environment. It goes to show us what we can achieve when we play with a common focus and clear team goals."
The Wildcats will travel to Piedmont International on October 2nd as they seek to avenge one of their two losses. That game is slated for 7:00 pm kick-off.