Sailfish Defense Holds On to Pull Out Natural State Sweep
September 7, 2009
Written By: Michael Brown, Palm Beach Atlantic University Sports Information Director
SEARCY, Ark.- The Palm Beach Atlantic University men’s soccer team accomplished exactly what they set out to achieve on Monday evening in Searcy, Arkansas and that was a Sailfish sweep. Following up the PBA women’s soccer team victory over Harding University earlier in the evening, the Sailfish men’s squad closed out a tight sweep of the Bisons with a 1-0 nail-bitter in the finale of a four-match trip for the two Sailfish soccer teams.
A goal by senior Johnathon Clark, his third score in as many games this season, gave the Fish (3-0-0) all the offense they would need in the 59th minute which broke the scoreless tie. Clark collected a rebound and was assisted by fellow senior Chance Sumner. Clark also collected the game-winning goal against Ouachita Baptist University on Saturday, the first of two important NCAA South Region games the Sailfish would participate in over the holiday weekend.
The first-half featured a number of close calls for the Fish as they outshot the home-standing Bisons, a member of the Gulf South Conference, by a tally of 9-4. However, Harding would come out in the second-half reenergized while collecting six shots compared to that of just five by the Fish.
Senior goalkeeper Joe Yurchak made four saves to post his first shutout of the season and the second in three games overall for the Blue and White. Perhaps no save was more important or as impressive as a diving, fully-extended save that Yurchak made late in the second-half to preserve the shutout and the victory.
Beyond Yurchak’s solid performance in goal, the Sailfish defensive backline, anchored by senior captain Cheyne Roberts, junior Andrew Kanarr, and freshman Matt Crumb among others, was solid all night long in controlling the attack of the Bisons forwards.
The Bisons split the goalkeeping duties with James Thurmond tallying four saves in the first-half while Andrew Flesher allowed Clark’s goal while making two saves of his own.
PBA will return home on Tuesday and begin to prepare for what they hope to be a Saturday, September 12th showdown with Florida Tech at Magic Jack Field. The Fish have run into heavy rain their past two scheduled home matches with the likes of the University of Tampa and Florida Southern before finally getting on the field this long weekend in Arkansas. Match time is scheduled for 4 p.m.