With only three minutes left in double overtime, North Florida men’s soccer (6-3-1 overall, 2-0 ASUN) scored to win its third straight game against arch rival Jacksonville (5-7 overall, 1-3 ASUN.)
Last time these two teams met, the Ospreys put away the Dolphins 1-0 thanks to a first half goal by then-senior Drew Spragg. The win marked the second straight season North Florida won the Dennis Viollet Cup.
Early in their quest for a three-peat, the Ospreys played aggressive and kept the ball on Jacksonville’s side of the field to out shoot the Dolphins 7-3 in the first half, though both teams only got one shot on goal apiece.
North Florida have outscored teams in the first half this season 9-4, so when the game was still scoreless at halftime, Dolphins’ head coach Mauricio Ruiz was pleased with his defense.
“We know they’re [UNF] a very offensive team,” Ruiz said. “They like to attack, throw a lot of numbers forward so our job was to eliminate their chances and I thought we did a real good job throughout the whole game.”
For the most part, the script remained constant. The Ospreys outshot the Dolphins by nearly double, but several unlucky shots off the post resulted in North Florida having only two shots on goal out of 15 at the end of regulation and a 0-0 score.
If the game had ended in a tie, North Florida would’ve retained the rivalry trophy. However, no team ever wants that and luckily for the Ospreys, senior midfielder Andrey Rosales stepped up and scored the game winning header with three minutes before second overtime ended.
“In my mind, I knew if I had a clear shot I would score.” Rosales said. “Thank God I could do it and get those three [conference standings] points, those points are very important to secure the number one seed.”
Still undefeated in conference play, the Ospreys hit the road to face FGCU on Oct. 18.
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