Johnson & Wales began the 2016 JWU Cup on Friday with a late afternoon match against the Charlotte campus. The JWU Cup is an intercampus contest that puts the four JWU campuses in a battle of cities for the right to the trophy.
The match began slow offensively for both squads with Denver seeing their first two attempts go wide of goal in the 4th and 5th minutes. Christian Gallegos (Alvin, Texas) got the first shot off on target of the game in the 17th minute but Charlotte's John Lowes made the save to keep Denver off the board. The matchup was a physical contest with the two sides combining for 17 first half fouls.
In the 38th minute, Jason Rosales put a shot on frame but Jordan Collier (Plainfield, Ill.) made the stop to keep his clean sheet going. Kyler Fowkes (Arvada, Colo.) sent a shot wide just before halftime as the two teams took a scoreless draw into the break.
In the second half, both sides came out with a bit more intensity looking to break open the match. In the 56th minute, Denver saw their goal called back after being whistled for a foul in the box. Collier made another save in the 65th minute as Charlotte tried to swing the momentum. Immediately after at the other end of the field, Fowkes sent a ball in that deflected off the Charlotte defender and into the goal, putting Denver up 1-0 with 25 minutes to play.
Tanner Hoffman (Sioux Falls, S.D.) had his attempt saved in the 67th minute as the 'Cats started to feel the momentum shift their way. In the 79th minute, Fowkes sent a long ball up the field to a streaking Gallegos who used the breakaway attempt to slide the ball past the charging Charlotte keeper from 20 yards out.
With the lead 2-0 and just 10 minutes to play, Denver locked down defensively with Collier making one more save to earn JWU Denver's third clean sheet in four matches.
Gallegos had two shots on goal for Denver and Collier saved all three shots on target he faced.
Denver will take on host JWU Providence on Sunday at 7pm Eastern in the JWU Cup Championship match. Live streaming of the title game is available here.