Soccer rumble ends in 1-1 stalemate

Andrew Nichols

UNF had to settle for a draw against JU in this years River City Rumble after giving up the tying goal in the 80th minute.

Despite the tie, UNF (6-5-3, 2-3-2 A-Sun) earned a spot in the Atlantic Sun Conference Tournament at the number 4 seed.

Casey Caronis elevates for a header against JU Wednesday night. Photo credit: John Shippee
Casey Caronis elevates for a header against JU Wednesday night. Photo credit: John Shippee

The 2013 edition of the River City Rumble did not let down in terms of a rivalry match as both teams showed its physical sides.

Eleven fouls were committed in the first half alone, with a total of 6 yellow cards shown, 4 to JU and 2 to UNF. Niklas Schuessler will have to miss the next match due to yellow card accumulation; if a player receives five yellows he must sit out a match for discipline.

The game started with an upbeat tempo from both squads through the middle of the field, but neither team could break through the final third in dangerous fashion to create a clear chance early on.

The first shot on goal came from Simen Solstad, who did not make solid contact as the ball trickled to keeper Gavin Carlin.

JU nearly broke the deadlock in the 12th minute of play as Mathias Axelsson beat defenders with skill and found space for a shot. Coming into clear the ball at the last second was Diogo Quirino.

Injuries to Solstad and Alex Morrell were not a happy sight for the Ospreys as Morrell recently came back from a hamstring injury that he looked to have re-injure.

Solstad may have rolled an ankle after getting tangled up with a JU defender. He tried to continue on but could not put pressure on it.

UNF seemed to have the run of play with JU sitting in for the first portion of the half.

With ten minutes remaining in the half, JU had the best of the game as Griffin Kelly met a cross with his head. The header struck the crossbar, beating Brad Sienkiewicz, and straight down. The follow up header was anything but brilliant and it went over despite a near open net.

The second half came to life in the 65th minute when Jake Frahm found Slywester Szczesniewicz  who slotted it near post with pace for his first goal of the season.

“It felt really good to get the goal,” Szczesniewicz said. “Coach put me in and (I) had a chance to change the game, up the tempo, so when I saw space I took it.”

The UNF bench, along with the Osprey faithful who made the trip, erupted in exuberance.

Mid fielder Jon-Michael Vieira against JU. Photo credit: John Shippee
Mid fielder Jon-Michael Vieira against JU. Photo credit: John Shippee

With the intensity of the game continuing to rise, along with tempers, fouls were being committed left and right. Though the stats do not show a clear number, doubling the tally of the first half would not be far from the truth.

With only ten minutes remaining, JU began an attack after Jean Rivaroli struck the post off a free kick.

The Dolphins’ counter lead to great passing outside the box as Matheus Saroli

found Nick Rodriguez in on goal. Rodriguez beat a UNF defender and struck a shot to

the far post, hitting the inside of the pipe and in the net.

Head coach Derek Marinatos would’ve been happy with the win as he thought it

had the game wrapped up, but the team didn’t stick to its game plan.

“We had the game won,” Marinatos said. “When we got our goal we got stretched and didn’t stick to the game plan. We were pressing high up the field like we needed a second.”

Marinatos’ game plan was to possess the ball through the field, instead forced long balls and continued turnovers lead to JU chances.

In overtime, Marinatos said the team had to regroup after JU scored its goal and that it was his decision to play for the draw.

“It cost us. They had numbers going forward and scored a nice goal,” Marinatos said. “We had to regroup in overtime and it was my call to play for the tie. Had we gone for it maybe we would’ve gotten a goal or maybe they would’ve stretched us and gotten one themselves.”

Szczesniewicz said the team could’ve dropped back more to defend, but that the tie still gives them confidence going into Saturday at 7 p.m. where they will face number 1 seed FCGU (7-6-2, 5-1-1 A-Sun).

“With high pressure we got caught up. The defense was a bit back and the midfield was pushed up so there was a gap and if we had dropped in it would’ve been better for us,” Szczesniewicz said. “It gives us some confidence to get a place in conference and FCGU Saturday will be a great game.”