TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 04, 2008
Men’s soccer ranked eighth in NSCAA South Region polls
The JU men’s soccer team is ranked eighth in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America South Region poll on Tuesday after securing the No. 2 seed in the Atlantic Sun Conference Tournament.

The Dolphins (10-8, 7-2) earned a spot in the polls for the third consecutive week with a 3-1 win over Lipscomb on Nov. 2, to receive the first round bye for the conference tournament. JU has been ranked as high as seventh since making its first appearance on Oct. 21.

“It’s nice to be recognized in the polls,” said JU head coach Mike Johnson. “This is the second consecutive year we have made the south region poll and it’s a tribute to the hard work our kids have put in. Our success over the last few weeks and with a tough non-conference schedule has also helped us get this recognition.

“As we head into the conference tournament, we know the only thing that matters is who wins the championship match and gets into the NCAA Tournament. If we can achieve our goal of winning the title then we can continue getting recognized in this poll.”

The Dolphins enter the tournament as one of the hottest teams in the A-Sun after winning four of the last five matches. They have posted double-digit wins for the second consecutive season and tied a program-record with seven conference wins.

Senior midfielder Ramak Niakan Safi currently paces the team in scoring with a career-best seven goals. He has scored in the last four matches, including adding two goals in the Dolphins’ 3-1 win against Lipscomb.

Between the posts, senior goalie Joey Sanchez has shown a steady hand for JU after producing six shutouts and tallying a current single-season record 0.92 GAA.

Following a week of practice, the Dolphins will play of the winner of No. 4 seed Stetson and No. 5 seed Belmont in the A-Sun Tournament on Nov. 13 in Buies Creek, N.C.