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JMU Rallies for 2-2 Tie with Delaware in CAA Semifinals, But Blue Hens Advance on PKs

Published: November 12, 2011

From CAA Reports

HARRISONBURG, Va., Nov.  11, 2011  – Fourth-seeded Delaware advanced past #1 James Madison 5-4 on penalty kicks after the two squads battled to a 2-2 tie in the second semifinal match of the 2011 Virginia 529 CAA Men’s Soccer Championship Friday night at the JMU Soccer Complex.

The Blue Hens (11-5-4), who also advanced past Northeastern on penalty kicks in Thursday's first-round, will meet #2 Old Dominion for the CAA championship at 1 p.m. on Sunday.

It’s the first appearance in the CAA title game for Delaware and its first conference tournament final since playing for the East Coast Conference crown in 1985. JMU, which is now 12-4-2, will await a possible at-large berth to the NCAA Men’s Soccer Championship next week.

With penalty kicks tied at 4-4, UD’s Chas Wilson knocked home the deciding goal with a shot to the right side of the net.

"There was no pressure," Wilson said. "I was planning to go to the left or down the middle, but I saw the goalie dive and I just rolled it and it went in."

The game was played in front of a season-high crowd of 1,075.

"It was an outstanding crowd," said JMU Head Coach Tom Martin.  "They were vocal, they were supportive and we really hopped on their emotion in the second half and raised our level of play."

"We were very unlucky to not win in regulation or overtime.  (In the first half) we were susceptible to some counter-attacks which they were very dangerous on.  We made a couple of mistakes, but to the kids' credit we battled back.

"If it wasn’t for the Delaware goalkeeper we could have won the game in regulation, but all credit to Delaware.  They did what they had to do tactically."
JMU jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the 19th minute when senior Patrick Innes (Chester, Va./Thomas Dale) converted a penalty kick to the right side after being taken down in the box by a Blue Hens’ defender.

Delaware got the equalizer less than two minutes later as sophomore John Dineen took a pass at the top of the box from Vincent Mediate and fired a shot into the upper right corner from 18 yards out.

The Blue Hens moved on top 2-1, with less than nine minutes to go in the first half.  A shot by UD’s Chas Wilson was blocked by JMU redshirt senior keeper Justin Epperson (Herndon, Va./Oakton), but the rebound came out to Evans Frimpong.  The senior, who earned CAA Player of the Year honors, hit a line drive into the open net from eight yards away for his 12th goal of the year.

The Dukes nearly tied it in the 77th minute but UD goalkeeper Kris Devaux was able to make a leaping stab to knock away a header by redshirt senior Jimmy Simpson (Warrenton, Va./Fauquier).

JMU pulled even at 2-2 with just 8:53 left in regulation.  Sophomore Karel Manrau (Neuchatel, Switzerland/Jean-Piaget) lofted a perfect 25-yard pass to Innes just inside the box.  Innes’ first shot was stopped by a charging Devaux, but the rebound came back to Innes who was able to finish from five yards out.

JMU had several good scoring opportunities in the second overtime, but couldn’t convert. After a scramble in from of the net, Innes saw his shot go just wide with 3:36 left.  Two minutes later, junior Paul Wyatt (Modbury, England/Ivybridge) fired a half-volley from 15 yards away that was stopped by Devaux.

JMU out-shot Delaware 21-13 for the match, including 7-0 in the two overtime periods.  Devaux finished with eight saves for the Hens and added two more stops in PK’s.  Epperson also turned away a pair of shots in PK’s and compiled two saves during regulation.

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