Men’s soccer opens preseason camp on Saturday

Despite being the last team to report to campus, the JU men’s soccer team is more than ready to get going as the Dolphins will open their 2009 preseason camp on Saturday morning.

Last year, the Dolphins posted double-digit wins for the second year in a row by going a 12-9-1 overall, while posting a 7-2 mark in Atlantic Sun play. JU come into its own at the A-Sun Tournament by rallying to beat Lipscomb and Campbell to win the conference title as well as earn their first automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament since 1998. In the NCAA Tournament, the Dolphins once again played spoilers as they rallied to earn a 4-3 overtime win over Louisville before falling to eventual national runner-up North Carolina, 1-0.

“We are happy to get going,” said JU head coach Mike Johnson. “Our guys look forward to building on what we had last season. I believe we have a great group coming in and I look forward to getting them on the field to see what we can do.”

The Dolphins currently return 15 players from last season’s championship squad, which includes senior midfielder Stefan Runeman, senior goalkeeper Joey Sanchez and senior defender Eddie Munnelly. Runeman finished third in scoring with five goals en route to earning first team all-conference and third team National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA)/adidas all-region accolades. Runeman also had the game-tying goal in the final minutes at Louisville to send the match into overtime.

Sanchez and Munnelly each earned second team all-conference honors after helping the Dolphins’ defense to six shutouts in 2008. Sanchez also posted career-best 68 saves in the nets and 1.19 goals against average. His six shutouts in goal rank second on the JU single-season lists.

The Dolphins will host Tampa for a home exhibition on Aug. 19 and head to Flagler on Aug. 24 for another tune up prior to the season opener. JU opens the season at former conference rival Florida Atlantic on Sept. 1 at 4 p.m.