Box Score (PDF)
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The North Florida men's soccer team continued its impressive offensive play this evening with a 3-1 win over NJIT in the final game of the Mike Gibbs Memorial Tournament. The Ospreys who improve to 2-0 on the year have scored eight goals in two games, the most to begin a season in program history.
"To win the tournament outright, I couldn't be more pleased on how far we have come," said Head Coach Derek Marinatos. "Winning at home in front of great crowds and scoring goals is always important."
The Ospreys had four players, Jay Bolt, Helge Pietschmann, Simen Solstad and Drew Spragg named to the All-Tournament team. Senior Diogo Quirino and junior Alex Morrell were named Defensive MVP and Offensive MVP respectively. Quirnio was credited with the game-winner in today's contest while Morrell finished the weekend with two goals and an assist.
After the two teams played a scoreless first half, the action picked up over the final 45 minutes. The Ospreys were the first to strike in the 56th minute when Bolt was able to win a ball on the nearside box and knocked it to Pietschmann who waiting near the end line. Pietschmann then drove the ball towards the net and delivered a pass to sliding Alex Morrell in the center of the six-yard box. Pietschmann now has three assists on the young season.
The lead did not last long as the Highlanders responded with a tally of their own in the 64th minute off the foot of Tommy Osipitan. Danny Cordeiro made the play happen as he charged down the right side of the field and made a perfect pass to Osiptan who was waiting in front of a wide open net.
"I give a lot of credit to this NJIT team," added Marinatos. "They responded well after our first goal and they were a tough, physical team. We really had to grind this win out."
The Ospreys drew a corner a little over six minutes later and had a plethora of attackers in the box. Solstad came up with the initial shot that was turned away by NJIT goalkeeper Christian Foust. The save deflected all the way out to the top of the 18 where Quirno was able to square up and drill in his first career goal.
Morrell orchestrated North Florida's final goal in the 75th minute when he beat a defender on the nearside and positioned a pass right to the foot of Solstad for a goal. Solstad has now scored in each of the Ospreys three games dating back to last season.
"Diogo [Quirino] and Alex [Morrell] were very big for us on both sides of the ball but it wasn't about just one player this weekend. We had a real balanced attack, players stepped up for us all over the field," said Marinatos.
Tord Pedersen got his second start in goal and made a game-high five saves, earning his second victory of the season.
The Ospreys will travel north to participate in the Grey Griffin Tournament hosted by Furman University next weekend. North Florida will take on the hosts on Friday night at 7:30 and square off against the College of Charleston on Sunday at 1:00 p.m.
2014 All-Tournament Team
Offensive MVP: Alex Morrell - UNF
Defensive MVP: Diogo Quirino - UNF
Helge Piestchmann - UNF
Simen Solstad - UNF
Drew Spragg - UNF
Jay Bolt- UNF
Danny Cordeiro - NJIT
Cristian Marcel - NJIT
Jimmy Myers - NJIT
Griffith Kelly - JU
Hector Vega - JU
Ryan Price - FAU
Peter Riddle - FAU
First Place: North Florida (2-0)
Second Place: NJIT (1-1)
Third Place: Jacksonville (1-1)
Fourth Place: FAU (0-2)
*Tiebreaker applied (Head-to-Head) NJIT beat JU, 3-2 on Friday