Sailfish Men's Soccer Jumps Out of the Gate with Shutout Victory

Written By: Michael Brown, Palm Beach Atlantic University SID

Johnathon Clark (Pictured) Tallied a Great Performance in the Season Opener With One Goal and Two Assists. Johnathon Clark (Pictured) Tallied a Great Performance in the Season Opener With One Goal and Two Assists.

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WEST PALM BEACH, Fla.- Blessed with five first-half goals, the Palm Beach Atlantic University men’s soccer team cruised to a season-opening victory on Thursday afternoon as they played host to visiting Johnson and Wales University at Magic Jack Field. Bright sunshine filled the field all afternoon as the Sailfish starting unit pounded away for five goals in the first 45 minutes to earn the victory.

A senior-loaded squad, head coach Jose Gomez and his squad wasted little time getting their 2009 opening goal on the board and never looked back against the visiting Wildcats.

“We possessed well and it was a great opportunity for us to see where our guys are at. Our preseason hasn’t allowed us to get our full team together just yet but I was pleased at how our guys came out and the energy they showed,” said Gomez who begins his fifth season at the helm of the Sailfish men’s soccer program.

Junior Kyle Crouse opened up the scoring for the Fish just under ten minutes into the contest as senior Johnathon Clark sent a cross wide to the speedy Crouse who used one touch to blast home the game’s first goal. Showing great instincts throughout his day’s work, Clark tallied his first goal of the season at the 16 minute mark as he received a Chance Sumner pass and then dribbled in for the score.

It would be five more minutes until the Fish would strike again as senior Anthony Mack utilized a header after Crouse crossed a free kick into the box that Mack conveniently ricocheted into the back of the net for a 3-0 lead nearly 21 minutes into the contest. 

Senior Cheyne Roberts would get in the action 58 seconds later as Clark pushed a pass to the far post where Roberts made easy work of a wide open net and gave PBA a now commanding four goal advantage. Roberts closed out the scoring for the half and what would turn out to be for the game with 22 seconds remaining in the first half as he received a short pass off the chest of newcomer Charlie Hubbard a number of steps beyond the 18 only to see Roberts take one touch and blast it home for a fifth and final goal of the day.

The second-half featured mostly the second unit for the Fish which allowed for valuable field time for the reserve players in their first outing of the season. Senior Joe Yurchak and redshirt-freshman Jonathan Strunk split the goal-keeping duties and the shutout with Yurchak playing between the pipes in half number one and Strunk closing things out with 45 minutes of scoreless play. Strunk collected two saves.

PBA outshot JWU by a tally of 17 to five while also drawing a 5-2 corner kick advantage. The Fish also were whistled for 15 fouls while the Wildcats were called for seven fouls.

Freshman Sky Brisco took the defeat in goal for JWU while allowing all five goals in 90 minutes of action while also collecting six saves.

PBA won’t have much time to rest and celebrate their season-opening victory as they welcome in the University of Tampa on Saturday, August 29th. The #3-ranked Spartans and the Sailfish square off at 4 pm at Magic Jack Field.

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