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Jimmie men fall to Chargers

University of Jamestown's Diego Valle (13) works around the ball Thursday with Alan Araiza of Briar Cliff. John M. Steiner / The Sun

University of Jamestown men's soccer was unable to break through with a goal Thursday at Jimmie Turf Field, even after playing a much better second half against Briar Cliff University.

First-half goals by the visitor's Rodrigo Oliveira and Prichard Sibanda was the difference in a 2-0 Chargers' victory over the Jimmies. Briar Cliff outshot the Jimmies 10-1 and booted all five of its corner kicks over the opening 45 minutes.

"The first half it was all self-inflicted stuff," said Jimmie men's soccer coach Tommy Nienhaus. "We just lacked some courage and conviction to play. We got very predictable and just started smashing things forward."

UJ's Eric Fairtlough, Alex Castillo and Lloyd Van Wees all put shots on goal at Briar Cliff keeper Alex Theobald in the second half, but the Jimmies were ultimately held out of the mesh. Jamestown was playing without leading scorer Ruben Zepeda (6 goals), who was shown a red card during the Jimmies' 2-0 loss at Morningside on Oct. 6.

"Mentally we played at a faster tempo in the second half. It shows with our passing and, obviously, we were creating more chances," Nienhaus said. "We still would like to get some chances in the penalty area, instead of relying on shots from 25-30 yards out. But it was a much better second half."

Jamestown (4-7-1, 3-4 GPAC) has won three of its last five matches, and the home stretch of the conference schedule looks promising. The Jimmies wrap up the regular season with games against Doane (1-7-2), Mount Marty (2-5-2), Concordia (6-4-2) and Presentation (0-14).

The eight-team GPAC men's soccer tournament quarterfinals begin Nov. 1 with higher seeds hosting. The Jimmies are currently seventh in the conference standings and play at Doane University on Saturday, Oct. 13.

"The goal is to qualify for the the postseason. With any young team you have to keep growing," Nienhaus said. "I wouldn't say it's easy, but it's not as challenging as the early part of the schedule. We like our chances."

Briar Cliff 2, Jamestown 0

BC 2 0 -- 0

UJ 0 0 -- 0

Scoring

First half

1. BC, Oliveira Rodrigo (Prichard Sibanda), 10th minute. 2. BC, Sibanda (Rodrigo), 19th.

Goalkeeper saves: BC, Alex Theobald 3. UJ, Jake Askew 5.

Shots: BC 19. UJ 5. Shots on goal: BC 7. UJ 3.

Corner kicks: BC 5. UJ 3.

Records: Briar Cliff 6-4-2, 3-1-1 GPAC. Jamestown 4-7-1, 3-4.

Michael Savaloja

Hometown: Churchs Ferry, N.D.; College: North Dakota

A recipient of the NDHSCA Award of Merit, Savaloja has been reporting sports for The Sun since 2008.

Follow on Twitter: @MichaelSavaloja

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