Eastern Florida State Defeats Jefferson To Reach National Semifinal
By Mark DeCotis, Eastern Florida State // November 19, 2015
BREVARD COUNTY • MELBLOURNE, FLORIDA – Stalwart defending and the finishing abilities of Luke Ferreira have sent Eastern Florida State College into the semifinal round of the NJCAA Division I Men’s Soccer Championships.
The Titans defeated Jefferson College of Missouri 2-0 in Group C pool play Wednesday night and will face Tyler Junior College of Texas on Friday in Martinsville, Virginia.
Though stubborn Jefferson did not allow the Titans nearly the number of opportunities they had in the opening match Monday against Morton College, history seemed to repeat itself: the locals looked dangerous late, yet went scoreless in the first half.
“They played really well in the first half and we had to change our tactics midway through the half,” Eastern Florida coach Oliver Twelvetrees said.
“The boys responded very well and the second half was our half.”
For its part, Jefferson was frustrated at every turn, thwarted by Eastern Florida’s defenders and goalkeeper Kekuta Jatta.
“The whole back four was very good tonight, and Kekuta kept a clean sheet,” Twelvetrees said.
“He was very good on crosses but the important thing was that he kept a clean sheet.”
Rushane McClymont, part of that back four, said he and his teammates knew they would have a tough opponent.
“We knew it would be a hard game,” he said. “We knew they could do some damage, having already played them (during the season). We did what we had to do,” he said.
Eastern Florida returned from the break to take complete control of the match, capitalizing on their opportunities in the 55th minute, when Ferreira deposited a free kick ball in the top corner of the net.
The score remained 1-0 until the 78th minute, when the Deerfield Beach resident struck again, this time on a header, the ball having been served by Yannick Koffi.
“He’s worked hard all year and he’s had some assists, but he’s really wanted goals, and they finally came tonight,” Twelvetrees said.
This nationals trip is the second in the Titans third year as a program. They lost in the first round in 2013.