THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 24, 2009
Men’s soccer hosts JU/Nike Invitational starting Friday
The Dolphins will try to build off the momentum of their first win of the season as the JU men’s soccer team hosts the JU/Nike Invitational on Friday at the Ashley Sports Complex.

Stetson (5-0) opens the tournament with No. 26 College of Charleston at 5 p.m., while the Dolphins (1-3-1) close out the evening against Alabama A&M (1-7) at 7 p.m. On Sunday, the Hatters play the Bulldogs at 11 a.m. before the Dolphins conclude the invitational with the Cougar at 2:30 p.m.

“This is going to be a tough weekend,” said JU head coach Mike Johnson. “We have two quality opponents coming in to play us and we have to elevate our game to be successful. We are starting to find our way so I am confident we will play to our level of expectations and have a chance for a pair of victories.”

The Dolphins finally got that elusive first win in 2009 with a 4-0 victory over St. Joseph’s on Sept. 20 to close out the Stetson Soccer Classic.

Sophomore midfielder Casey Tafuri, sophomore forward Tyler Williams, sophomore midfielder Kyle Johnson and freshman midfielder David Santa Maria each recorded their first collegiate goal in the victory. The Dolphins smothered the Hawks with a 29-3 shot advantage, while sophomore goalie Johnny Foley earned his first shutout of the year without having to face a single shot on goal.

The Bulldogs enter the tournament on a seven-match losing streak following their season-opening 2-1 win at Mercer.

Offensively, the Bulldogs are led by junior forward Abraham Kassaye, who has five goals and an assist in eight matches. Senior goalie Paul Musoke had 36 saves and a 1.92 GGA in seven matches for the Bulldogs.

The Cougars roll into the tournament with a 6-1 mark to rank No. 26 in the College Soccer News poll.

Senior forward Matt Morris leads the Cougars in scoring with a team-best three goals and three assists, while five different players have scored two goals. Sophomore goalie Clark Hankins has tallied 21 saves, a 1.32 goals against average and two shutouts in seven matches.

The Hatters head into Jacksonville with a five-match winning streak to start the season. Four of the five wins are shutouts, including victories over St. Joseph’s and Hofstra in the Stetson Soccer Classic last weekend. Senior Griffin Gilstrap comes into the weekend with a team-high three goals, while freshman midfielder Jonathan Mendoza has two scores on the season. Sophomore goalie Logan Parker has only allowed two goals and made 18 stops in five starts.

On Saturday, the Dolphins will host their annual alumni match at the Ashley Sports Complex. Kickoff is set for 11:30 a.m. with a free lunch and campus tour to follow the game.

Alumni wishing to attend can contact Director of Athletic Development Kelli Skodinski at 256-7860 or through email at kskodin@ju.edu.