JACKSONVILLE – The Jacksonville State soccer team claimed its fourth consecutive match and its fifth Ohio Valley Conference win of the season after topping Belmont, 4-2, on Sunday afternoon at the JSU Soccer Field.
After thumping Austin Peay on the road Friday evening, JSU completed the weekend sweep with the win over the Bruins. Jax State improved to 9-7-0 on the season and 5-2 in the conference. The five OVC wins is the most by a Gamecocks soccer squad since joining the league in 2003. BU fell to 5-6-4 overall and 2-3-2 against the OVC. With the win, the Gamecocks moved into a three-way tie for second in the league standings with three matches left on the docket. Southeast Missouri and Murray State also have 5-2 records through the first seven matches of the season. The Cougars of SIU Edwardsville currently lead the league with a 6-1 mark after downing Eastern Kentucky on Sunday. JSU will host SIUE and SEMO next weekend.
JSU posted the lone first-half goal just past the midway point of the 45 minute half as senior Lindsey Jackson took a feed from redshirt junior Courtney Hurt and got past the Bruins’ defense for a one-on-one attack with the goalkeeper. Jackson, from Marietta, Ga., angled the ball past BU’s Lindsey Espe for her second goal of the weekend. The offensive opportunities were limited by both sides as JSU had five shots in the first half, while BU was credited with six.
The Gamecocks’ have one of the most explosive offenses in the OVC and it showed why with three goals within a seven-minute span in the second half. Junior Kelsey Bright tallied her first of two goals on the day at the 50th minute. Sophomore Carsen Taylor flicked the ball past Espe to Bright for the open net score. Taylor, who manufactured the second goal of the day, etched her name in the scoring column after taking a rebound shot that was blocked by BU in front of the goal in the 53rd minute. It was Carsen’s first goal of her career and would be the eventual game-winner after BU tacked on a pair of late goals.
Bright now shares the team lead in goals after finalizing the JSU scoring in the 57th minute. Sophomore Abbey Clausen and Hurt created the scoring opportunity with Bright capitalizing on the play. The Kingwood, Texas-native has nine goals on the season, sharing that spot with Hurt.
The Bruins, feeling the pressure of a 4-0 deficit, started to get more opportunities in the second half as they carded 17 of their 22 shots in the second half. Taylor Smith put BU on the scoreboard in the 60th minute, while Belicia Mendiola netted a ball from a corner kick.
Freshman Caroline Robinson had another solid outing in the net with a career-high 12 saves in the win.
Jax State looks to cap off an unblemished home conference mark next weekend with a pair of home matches against SIUE and SEMO. The SIUE contest is set for Friday, Oct. 24 at 7 p.m., while SEMO will visit Sunday for a 1 p.m. dual. Sunday’s match will also be senior day and the 2014 senior class will be honored prior to the match. Free pizza and free t-shirts will be handed out to the first 75 fans.
~ JSU Sportswire