JMU men’s soccer advances to CAA finals

jmu logoThe sixth-seeded James Madison men’s soccer team knocked off No. 2 UNCW 2-0 Friday afternoon at Grant Stadium in the semifinals of the Colonial Athletic Association Tournament.

The win moves Madison to the CAA Finals on Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m. The Dukes will take on No. 1 Delaware with the winner earning the conference’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. JMU’s appearance in the CAA Championship match marks the first time the Dukes will participate in the match since 2001 when JMU topped William & Mary. Delaware is making just its second appearance in the CAA Finals. In their only other trip to the Championship, the Blue Hens won the 2011 title in Harrisonburg.

JMU is the first No. 6 seed to reach the CAA Finals since 1993. Fifth-seeded William & Mary in 1999 and fifth-seeded Hofstra in 2004 are the lowest seeds to ever win the CAA Tournament.

Senior forward Josh Grant (Plymouth, England/Torpoint College) got the Dukes on the board in the 34th minute when he put home his fifth goal of the season past UNCW goalkeeper Sam Williams. After freshman midfielder Francisco Narbon (Panama City, Panana/Shattuck St. Mary’s (Minn.)) collected a ball at midfield, he found redshirt-freshman defender Toby Appleton (Cheshire, England) at the top of the penalty area. Appleton corralled the ball, then touched a pass to Grant, who was charging down the middle of the box between defenders. After two touches, Grant sent his shot to the left side of goal past Williams for his team-leading 13th and 14th points.

Early in the second half, senior midfielder Jonathan Barden (Harrow, England/Park) stepped up and put home a penalty kick to put the Dukes up 2-0 after redshirt-sophomore forward Connor Coward(Centreville, Va./Centreville) was knocked down by Williams. The UNCW keeper was issued a yellow card and on the ensuing attempt by Barden, he guessed correctly but Barden’s shot was just hard enough to get past Williams to the left side.

With the win, JMU moves to 9-7-4 on the season and has now won back-to-back games for the second time this season. The first time the Dukes accomplished the feat came Sept. 12 and 14 in Nashville, Tennessee, when Madison beat Belmont 2-1 and Lipscomb 1-0, respectively.

Redshirt-sophomore goalkeeper Kyle Morton (West Chester, Pa./Reed Henderson) recorded his eighth shutout of the season after making just one save in the contest. The Seahawks (12-4-2) had six shots in the game but the defense in front of Morton came up with a lot of deflections on balls to thwart UNCW opportunities before they could get to Morton.

The shutout marks the second shutout in a row for the Dukes and the fourth overall in the last six games.

In the regular season, JMU topped then-No. 21 Delaware 1-0 on Oct. 8 in Newark when freshman forward Joe Vyner (Bath, Somerset, England/Beeches Cliff School) scored the game-winner in the 83rd minute.

UVA Basketball Fans!

uva basketball team of destiny
Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, by Jerry Ratcliffe and Chris Graham, is available for $25. The book, with additional reporting by Zach Pereles, Scott Ratcliffe, and Scott German, will take you from the aftermath of the stunning first-round loss to UMBC in 2018 through to the thrilling overtime win over Texas Tech to win the 2019 national title, the first in school history.

Dick Vitale on Team of Destiny: “This is a hoops story you will LOVE! Jerry and Chris capture the sensational and dramatic championship journey by Tony Bennett and his tenacious Cavalier team. UVA was Awesome Baby and so is this book!”

Ralph Sampson on Team of Destiny: “Jerry and Chris have lived and seen it all, even before my time. I highly recommend this book to every basketball fan across the globe. This story translates to all who know defeat and how to overcome it!”

Buy here.




augusta free press
augusta free press
augusta free press news