Johnson & Wales kicked off a pair of home games this weekend with a Friday afternoon match against Friends University.
The wind was very impactful to the game from the opening whistle as it altered the path of long balls and kept each goalkeeper on their toes. The two sides traded early corner kicks but neither had much luck putting together an offensive run. In the 32nd minute, Leonardo Sosa Perez put a shot on frame but Jordan Collier (Plainfield, Ill.) made the stop to keep the match scoreless.
Late in the first half the two teams found themselves offsides a couple of times but again neither could get their offense going. Sosa Perez sent a shot high to close the half as the game went into halftime tied 0-0.
In the second half, Collier made a pair of saves in the 52nd and 55th minutes to keep the shutout going. As the game continued, the Wildcats started to find some opportunities down the stretch. Christian Gallegos (Alvin, Texas) got the first shot on frame for Johnson & Wales in the 73rd minute but Friends' Floria Dupois made the save.
Austin Collier (Plainfield, Ill.) saw his attempt deflect off the post in the 74th minute as the 'Cats continued to press. Jordan Collier made another save in the 76th minute as both teams continued to search for the back of the net.
In the 87th minute, Dean Rounsevell (Port Macquarie, Australia) sent a pass to Kyler Fowkes (Arvada, Colo.) who sent in a long ball from 30 yards out. The ball deflected off the far post and into the net, giving Johnson & Wales the 1-0 lead with under three minutes to play. The Wildcats were able to hold off the Falcon's offense to capture the clean sheet and their seventh shutout of the season.
Fowkes and Gallegos each had a shot on goal for the Wildcats and Jordan Collier made six saves in the match.
The Wildcats (8-0-2) will host University of Jamestown on Sunday at 2:30pm at Dick's Sporting Goods Park.