Patrick Mullins comes up big for Jesters

Patrick Mullins provided the heroics for the second consecutive game as the New Orleans Jesters edged the Mississippi Brilla 2-1 on Wednesday night at Pan American Stadium.

Mullins, a former Jesuit standout, scored twice to hand Brilla (4-1-2) its first loss of the season. He handled a cross from forward Paris Simmons in the 64th minute and placed it past goalkeeper Brendan Moore to put the Jesters ahead.

Mullins also netted a game-winning goal in New Orleans' 3-2 victory against the Nashville Metros on June 3.

"It shows the class that he is," Jesters Coach Kenny Farrell said. "There's no question, if he keeps playing in games as tough as that and pulls out goals the way he did, he's going to go a long way."

The win was the third in a row for the Jesters (4-2) and moved them into sole possession of third place in the Southeast Division of the Premier Development League's Southern Conference.

New Orleans fell behind early, surrendering a goal to forward Moses Aduny in the third minute. Off a goal kick, forward Phillip Buffington headed it on to Aduny, who raced past defenders and goalkeeper Jordan Lower to give his team a 1-0 advantage.

"We coughed up one against him early," Farrell said. "On the counter-attack, he is probably the most dangerous player in the league, so we knew we had to handle him."

After the goal, Farrell adjusted his defensive formations to frustrate Aduny and midfielder Michael Azira. The move worked for New Orleans, which held Brilla scoreless for the remainder of the game.

Mullins tied the score in the sixth minute, dribbling past defenders into the penalty box. He then blasted a shot off his right foot over Moore's outstretched arms and into the net.

The Jesters nearly took a lead into halftime, but Moore made a diving save to rob midfielder Juan Hurtado. Lower maintained the tie with two saves in the 31st minute.

"They controlled the first half," Farrell said. "I felt we were lucky to be tied at halftime. We readjusted the formation because we looked lost."

The teams battled to a stalemate for most of the second half, until Mullins netted the decisive goal.

The Jesters missed two opportunities to add to its lead, but Simmons and defender Brandon Tyler missed the goal by inches in the 72nd and 74th minutes.

With about 10 minutes remaining, Brilla moved into an attacking formation. But even as Brilla threatened to tie the score, Farrell said he didn't want his team to ease off the pressure.

"We were going for a third goal," Farrell said. "Every time I've seen them down in a game, they go very direct. They're an extremely well coached team. They know exactly what they're doing, but I also know exactly what they're doing."

As lightning flashed in the distance and the game reached injury time, the Jesters fended off several attacks to maintain their one-goal advantage.

Farrell said he felt a sigh of relief when the referee blew the final whistle.

"Injury time seemed like it went all day and all night," Farrell said. "But at the end of the day, I think we deserved it."

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New Orleans Jesters
PO Box 9047  
New Orleans, LA 70055
(504) 312-3979

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