Dolphins captain powers program into NCAA Tournament for first time since 2008

By Official Florida FC

Jacksonville University and Florida Gulf Coast played 135 minutes to decide the ASUN men’s soccer championship this weekend. Both team scored two goals. But, it’s the Dolphins who earned the NCAA Tournament bid.

Yes, the Dolphins and Eagles played 135 minutes.

No, the match did not go to penalty kicks.

So how did JU wind up victorious?

The Dolphins (7-4-1) won Sunday’s match 2-0.

The final was slated to be played at Jacksonville’s Southern Oak Stadium on Saturday evening. But, it was suspended at halftime with Florida Gulf Coast leading 2-0.

Goals from St. Johns Bartram Trail graduate Ethan Dudley and Coral Glades alumnus Jahvanie Hammond were wiped out.

ASUN rules indicated that for a game to be official, 70 minutes must have been played. The first attempt at playing the final only completed 45 before rain and thunder suspended the contest.

The final was moved to Sunday afternoon in DeLand.

“We didn’t have it today. We tried to replicate what we did last night, but fell short,” Florida Gulf Coast men’s soccer coach Jesse Cormier said afterward. “I’m extremely proud of how our team responded this season to all of the challenges we’ve faced and the times we’ve risen to be exceptional, despite all of it. We will learn from this season and be prepared to take it a step further in the fall.”

Jacksonville used a pair of second half goals to win its first league title in 13 years. Connar Lufkin, a redshirt senior from Tampa, scored at the hour mark and again in the 67th minute to seal the deal.

Lufkin scored three goals in the entirety of the 2019 season, but scored three in the ASUN tournament.

JU’s win secured the program’s first NCAA Tournament berth since 2008. The Dolphins lost to national finalist North Carolina 1-0 in their last tournament match.

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