WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 12, 2008
Men’s soccer readies for Atlantic Sun Tournament on Thursday
The JU men’s soccer team is poised for a championship run as the Dolphins enter the A-Sun Tournament in Buies Creek, N.C. as the No. 2 seed starting on Thursday.

The Dolphins (10-8, 7-2), who have a first round bye, is scheduled to face the winner of Wednesday’s No. 3 Lipscomb and No. 6 Mercer match in the semifinals. Kickoff for the semifinals on Thursday is set for 4 p.m.

“This is the most important week of the season for us,” said JU head coach Mike Johnson. “We have worked all year to get to this point. We will have to go out now and execute to achieve our goal of winning the tournament and earning a trip to the NCAA Tournament.”

Last time out, the Dolphin scored three goals in less than 13 minutes in the second half to down Lipscomb, 3-1, in the regular season finale at the Ashley Sports Complex on Nov. 2.

The victory gave the Dolphins a double-digit win total for the second consecutive season, while also tying the school record for conference wins with seven.

Senior forward Ramak Niakan Safi enters the tournament on the hottest streak after scoring a goal in the last four of five JU victories. He has a career-best seven goals, which earned him first team all-conference accolades.

The Dolphins defense has been stout as well by securing six shutout wins this season. Junior goalie Joey Sanchez, along with the backline of senior Philipp Meyner, junior Eddie Munnelly, junior Stefan Runeman and freshman Nurdin Hrusitc, were each awarded all-conference honors for their defensive efforts.

JU heads into the tournament looking to erase the painful memories of last season, which saw the Dolphins lose in the finals to Campbell in penalty kicks.

“The Campbell loss in the tournament has sat in our minds all year,” said Johnson. “It hurt all of us to be that close and not win the title. Our motto this season has been ‘Leave No Doubt’ and hopefully we can make it happen.”

All matches for the conference tournament will be streamed live on ASun.TV through atlanticsun.org starting today at 4 p.m.