COLORADO SPRINGS – The Johnson & Wales University men's soccer team fought back from a rough start, giving 8th-ranked Luther College everything it could handle in the Wildcats' season opener on Friday at Stewart Field.
The Norse scored just 48 seconds in on a goal by Harry Merz, then added another by off a penalty kick by Benjamin Keller to stun JWU Denver 2-0 in the eighth minute. But the Wildcats quickly clawed their way back, cutting the deficit in half on an unassisted score by Emanuel Melles in the 33rd minute.
The third time was the charm for the freshman Melles, who had his initial shot saved and his follow-up rebound blocked before punching one through for the Wildcats' first goal of 2019.
JWU controlled possession for much of the remaining contest, finishing with a 13-12 advantage in shots, and had quality chances for an equalizer but could never finish.
Keller added another score for the Norse in the closing minutes to make the final tally 3-1.
JWU returns to Colorado Springs on Saturday to battle Albion at noon.