NORTH MIAMI, Fla. (August 8, 2019) – It's been nearly a month in the making and we are finally ready to unveil the top moment for Johnson & Wales (Fla.) during the 2018-19 season.
Looking back on the 2018-19 season, the Wildcats had a tremendous year, making great strides both in the classroom and in the heat of competition. A number of historic moments occurred last year, including our No. 1 spot.
Featuring a team which earned its highest win total (9) since the 2013 season (10) and recorded the programs highest winning percentage in school history (.594) our top moment caps off a tremendous Top 10 list.
No. 1 – Men's Soccer Advances to Program's First TSC Semifinal Appearance, Defeating the Bobcats at St. Thomas, 3-2
After finishing the regular season with a 5-4-0 record in Sun Conference action, the Wildcats earned the No. 6 seed in the 2018 TSC Men's Soccer Championship and a November 3 meeting with the St. Thomas Bobcats in Miami Gardens, Florida.
A week earlier (October 24) at the Miami Shores Recreation Complex, JWU hosted STU in a regular-season match. The Bobcats defeated the Wildcats, 2-1, after an 84th-minute goal snapped a level match.
With revenge on their mind, the Wildcats took the pitch of Bobcat Field, with a berth in the TSC Semifinals on the line. On a wet-and-rainy Saturday evening, JWU upended the No. 3-seeded Bobcats, 3-2, in front of a hostile crowd for the program's first conference tournament win.
Freshman Fernando Arzeno recorded his second-straight multiple-goal game, notching two scores including the game-winner in the Wildcats first win over the Bobcats since the 2013 season. After a scoreless first half, the native of Buenos Aires, Argentina, got JWU on the board connecting on a cross from teammate Rodrigo Doben in the 50th minute. Azreno scored from 10-yards out to give the Wildcats a 1-0 lead. The goal was the 11th of the season for the first-year forward while the assist for Doben was his first of the year.
STU responded with a goal of its own in the 58th minute. Luis Stalin Munoz struck a high-curling ball from approximately 20 yards out. The shot into the upper 90 got past a diving Gonzalo Rudolf to draw the match even, 1-1.
JWU regained the lead in the 69th minute on a rocket shot by senior Ruben Tejeda. After a cross by the Wildcats into the area was pushed back toward midfield, Tejeda ran up on the ball a blasted a shot far post from well outside the area. St. Thomas goalkeeper Mike Marx had no chance in saving the shot, resulting in a 2-1 lead for the Wildcats.
In the 79th minute, the Wildcats appeared to take control of the match when Bobcat Santeri Bergman was given a red card, forcing St. Thomas to play a man down for the rest of the match. However, during that same minute, the Bobcats pressured JWU, looking for the equalizer. After an STU cross was deflected towards the edge of the 18, STU's Itay Forkosh flicked a bicycle kick near post to tie the game at 2-2.
Both teams were pressing for the go-ahead goal with no success until a hand-ball call in the box resulted in an 87th-minute penalty-kick attempt for the Wildcats. Arzeno, who came into the match perfect in PK attempts this season, scored his 12th goal of the year – a school-record sixth PK goal. His converted PK set the single-season program record for goals in a season with 12. It also marked the freshman's third game-winning goal of 2018.
JWU's Rudolf (4-2-0) earned the win, making two saves on the night. STU's Marx suffered the loss, registering four saves versus the Wildcats.
Both teams tallied nine shots in the contest with Wildcats recording seven on goal to just four for the Bobcats.
This back-and-forth match resulting in a win for the "good guys" is our top moment of 2018-19.
What will the 2019-20 season hold? Who will be No. 1 next year? We will just have to wait and see.
Top 10 Moments of the 2018-19 Season
No. 10 - Audrey Gant and Savannah Jackson become the first Wildcats in school history to be named Academic All-Americans®
No. 9 - Savannah Jackson and Tianna Ayulo become their program's first All-America honorees
No. 8 - Men's Basketball Knocks Off #16 Warner on Senior Day
No. 7 - Volleyball Claims Program's First Sun Conference Win
No. 6 - Men's Golf Extends Consecutive Appearances in the NAIA National Tournament to 19
No. 5 - Fernando Arzeno Sets Men's Soccer's Single-Season Mark for Goals and Points
No. 4 - Tianna Ayulo Scores 1,000 Points
No. 3 - Savannah Jackson Shatters Single-Season Record for Goals and Points
No. 2 - Women's Soccer Shuts Out Warner in TSC Quarterfinals
No. 1 - Men's Soccer Advances to Program's First TSC Semifinal Appearance, Defeating the Bobcats at St. Thomas, 3-2
Follow men's soccer and all of JWU's 11 athletic teams on Twitter (@JWUAthleticsNM), YouTube (JWUAthletics), and Instagram (theWildcatWay).
About JWU Athletics: JWU Athletics is home to more than 150 student-athletes in 11 different sports. Established in 1998, JWU Athletics is a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) and the Sun Conference. Athletic events are held the Wildcat Center and the Miami Shores Recreation Complex (9825 NE 7th Ave., Miami Shores, FL 33138).
About JWU: Founded in 1914, Johnson & Wales University is a private, nonprofit, accredited institution with approximately 13,000 graduate, undergraduate and online students at its four campuses in Providence, Rhode Island; North Miami, Florida; Denver, Colorado; and Charlotte, North Carolina. An innovative educational leader, the university offers degree programs in arts and sciences, business, culinary arts, design and engineering, education, health and wellness, hospitality, nutrition and physician assistant studies. Its unique model integrates arts and sciences and industry-focused education with work experience and leadership opportunities, inspiring students to achieve professional success and lifelong personal and intellectual growth. The university's impact is global, with alumni from 125 countries pursuing careers worldwide. For more information, visit jwu.edu.
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