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JMU advances to CAA Semifinals with 3-2 win in Charleston

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CHARLESTON, S.C. (Via James Madison University) – Strong play on both ends of the field led fifth-seeded James Madison to a 3-2 victory over No. 5 College of Charleston in the Colonial Athletic Association Men’s Soccer quarterfinals on Saturday night at Patriots Point.

The Dukes improved to 5-9-4 on the year after opening up a 3-0 lead while the comeback attempt for the Cougars came a goal short as the hosts ended their season with a 7-8-2 overall record.

Redshirt junior midfielder Tom Fouhy opened the scoring in the 14th minute. A JMU cross from the right side of the field was deflected by a Charleston defender, but the rebound was chested down by Fouhy and he struck on the volley past the diving goalkeeper and into the bottom, right corner of the net to take the lead.

Although the Dukes controlled the game in the first half, the Cougars came on strong in the second half and ultimately doubled JMU’s shot production at 18-9. Redshirt junior goalkeeper Kyle Morton came up big with seven saves to hold on to the lead.

On the counter attack following a CofC turnover in the 39th minute, sophomore midfielder Joe Vyner made a strong run and found freshman forward Aaron Ward-Baptiste alone in the box where he calmly finished to double the Dukes’ lead to 2-0. Redshirt sophomore defender Toby Appleton then added an insurance goal in the 52nd minute with a low, left-footed strike from just outside the 18-yard box.

Every goal proved to be vital as the Cougars scored in the 75th and 85th minutes to pull within one.

James Madison advances to the CAA Championship semifinals next week where it will face top-seeded Hofstra on Friday, Nov. 13 at 7 p.m. in Hempstead, N.Y. Last season, the Dukes, who were the No. 6 seed, knocked off the top three seeds en route to winning the the CAA tournament title and a berth in the NCAA Championship.

College of Charleston sophomore defender Cesar Murillo received yellow cards in the 71st and 80th minutes after two physical tackles and was sent off. The Cougars were forced to play with 10 men for the final 10:18 of the match.

Ward-Baptiste’s goal was the first of his collegiate career after playing 181 minutes over nine games this season coming into tonight’s contest. The goal came just three minutes and 21 seconds after the Wiltshire, United Kingdom native came off the bench.

In the other CAA quarterfinal match on Saturday night, No. 3-seed Delaware defeated No. 6-seed UNCW, 3-1, in Newark, Del. The Blue Hens will also head to Hempstead where they will take on second-seeded Elon.

The Pride hold a 10-8-1 lead in the all-time series with JMU, but the Dukes have found recent success. In the regular season finale, JMU defeated Hofstra, 2-0, which was ranked 17th nationally at the time.

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