HARRISONBURG, Va. – The Stetson men’s soccer team snapped a three-game losing skid after playing to a tough road draw against James Madison on Sunday afternoon. The Hatters and the Dukes tied 1-1 after 110 minute of action in Harrisonburg, Va.
"That was a very good effort from our entire team for 110 minutes," Stetson head coach T. Logan Fleck said. "JMU is a very strong team that gets ranked. We are still working hard to get a team identity, and with the effort we put out today, we showed some very bright spots as a team."
Neither team was able to get on the scoreboard in the first 45 minutes of play, but both teams had their chances. Stetson (1-4-2) outshot James Madison (3-2-1) 6-4 in the first half, but the Dukes recorded five corner kicks to the Hatters’ four.
JMU took the lead in the second half when a deflection by the Hatter defense sent a ball back into Stetson’s own goal in the 62nd minute. Tom Fouhy sent a cross into the box, and the Dukes were fortunate to take a 1-0 lead on the play.
Stetson fought back, scoring with just over 10 minute remaining in regulation to tie the contest at 1-1 and send it into overtime. Freshman Justin Shirah came up big in scoring the first goal of his career in the 80th minute on an assist from senior Steven Saballos.
"Justin's goal was a well timed run from the left flank on a beautiful ball crossed in by Stevie," Fleck said. "He finished it very well just inside the post."
After 20 minutes of extra time, neither the Hatters, nor the Dukes were able to come up with a golden goal to win the game. The two teams walked away with a 1-1 double overtime draw.
Stetson goalkeeper Andreas Schnabl was able to keep the Hatters in the game with six saves in the contest. The Dukes’ Kyle Morton, meanwhile, made four stops for James Madison.
"We played very good in the first half," Schnabl said. "We were in very good shape defensively and created chances offensively. In the beginning of the second half we let the game get out of our hands unfortunately. JMU was pressing high and we gave up that unlucky goal.
"Fortunately we were able to pick it up again after that, and with a lot of effort we got back in the game and tied it up," Schnabl continued. "We even had a chance to win it. However, I think we can be happy with a tie. It is was a step in the right direction."
Following 20 days with a home match, Stetson will finally return to the Athletic Training Center on Saturday, Sept. 28 to host La Salle at 7:00 p.m. The Hatters will open Atlantic Sun Conference play on Oct. 4 playing host to Northern Kentucky.