via press release:
The Jacksonville Armada FC was victorious for the first time in franchise history over the University of North Florida men’s soccer team Wednesday afternoon. The 3-0 shutout at Hodges Stadium was also the second win of the preseason for the Armada FC.
The Ospreys came out strong with an early look at the goal, but trialist Shane McInerney made a critical save to head out the ball.
The momentum seemed to flip instantly to the Armada FC for the next twenty minutes as the team fought to gain possession and pressured the UNF defense.
J.C. Banks received the first opportunity eleven minutes into the match in front of the net, but his shot went up and over. Two minutes later Conor Doyle also gained sight of the goal, but the UNF goalkeeper secured his attempt.
Ciarán Kilduff then found a chance minutes later after a cross into the box, but the UNF goalkeeper also saved his header.
“We didn’t have the penetration – which is what we’ve been working on the last couple of days,” said head coach Mark Lowry. “The chances, when we were getting them, we weren’t really connecting properly.”
Both sides earned a corner, but neither was able to convert the chances into a goal and the teams went into halftime scoreless.
“The first half [UNF] defended super well,” said Lowry. “They put their people around the ball and didn’t let us get through them. We played some great football. For the first half, for us, I enjoyed it more even though we didn’t score. From a soccer standpoin, we moved the ball well and connected a lot of passes.”
Derek Gebhard earned an early free kick just outside the box and Banks stepped up to deliver it. Kilduff connected with it, but the ball went over the net.
The first goal of the afternoon came after two trialists were subbed in. Brian Bement set up Comillo Portilla in front of the net, and Portilla tucked away the ball around the UNF goalkeeper.
About nine minutes later, Portilla delivered again when Kilduff set him up for a perfect rocket into the net to bring the score to 2-0.
The Armada FC road the momentum to put away one more goal before the final whistle blew. Banks converted a free kick and earned his second goal of the preseason to bring the final score to 3-0.
“Credit to [UNF], they defended really well. We’re happy we were able to put a couple goals away in the second half,” said Lowry