HARRISONBURG, Va., Oct. 5, 2011 — The 21st-ranked James Madison men's soccer team beat North Carolina Wilmington 1-0 to run its winning streak and shutout streak to five games in Colonial Athletic Association play Wednesday night at the JMU Soccer Complex.
A header by junior defender Dale Robins-Bailey (Bollington, England/Tytherington) off a corner kick by redshirt junior Christian McLaughlin (Herndon, Va./Herndon) in the 73rd minute gave the Dukes the win.
JMU improved its overall record to 7-1-1 and its CAA record to 3-0 as the Dukes remained unbeaten (7-0-0) at home this season. UNCW's record now stands at 3-7-0 and 1-3-0 in league play.
McLaughlin's corner kick sailed to the far post, where Robins-Bailey redirected the ball to the opposite corner of the goal from seven yards out.
Minutes after the Dukes scored the go-ahead goal, UNCW had two near misses. A shot from five yards by junior Thomas Driver (Greensboro, N.C./Grimsley) was stopped by redshirt senior goalkeeper Justin Epperson (Herndon, Va./Oakton). Freshman Jacob VanCompernolle (Dallas, Texas/R.L. Turner) nearly knocked the rebound into the net but a JMU defender cleared the ball before it crossed the line.
Then a header by Driver with 3:04 left crossed the goal line but was disallowed when Driver was ruled offside.
Epperson made three saves to record his fifth straight shutout and sixth shutout of the year. UNCW senior goalkeeper Brandon Miller (Charlotte, N.C./Charlotte Country Day) also finished with three saves.
Post-Game Comments from JMU Head Coach Tom Martin
"It was a game that could have gone either way. We got a good serve (on the game-winning goal) and it was a nice goal, and we hung on at the end."
"My hat's off to these guys. They did what they had to do. It was not pretty, (but) we got the most important thing tonight, the result."
On JMU's defense, which has posted five straight shutouts:
"They're getting stronger as a unit. Tonight they weren't as strong as they have been the last three or four games. They bent but they didn't break. Their communication is getting better, and they're playing better as a unit, the back four and Justin (Epperson) in the goal."
* Dale Robins-Bailey scored his second career goal, and both his JMU goals have been game-winners. The other goal came in a 1-0 win over Florida Atlantic on Sept. 2.
* Robins-Bailey's two goals and three assists this season all have been on headers.
* Christian McLaughlin, who leads JMU with five assists, has had an assist in the last three games.
* Goalkeeper Justin Epperson has not been scored upon in his last 455:47 of play. His five consecutive shutouts are one short of the school record of six, set by Josh Kovolenko in 2000. The school record for individual scoreless minutes is 643:42, by Barry Purcell in 1996. The JMU team record for consecutive shutouts is seven, by the 1988 team.