THURSDAY, OCTOBER 01, 2009
Men’s soccer opens conference play against Stetson on Friday
The JU men’s soccer team begins its trek for a third straight conference championship on Friday at 8 p.m. when the Dolphins host Stetson in their Atlantic Sun opener at the Ashley Sports Complex.

The Dolphins (2-4-1), who won regular season title in 2007 and tournament title in 2008, close out the weekend on Sunday at home against Florida Gulf Coast at 2 p.m.

“We are ready to get going,” said JU head coach Mike Johnson. “These are two tough teams to start with on our conference schedule. I am confident our team is ready to battle for another conference championship. We have prepared all preseason camp and during on non-conference schedule for this part of the season.”

JU enters the week following a 5-3 comeback win over No. 26 College of Charleston in the JU/Nike Invitational on Sept. 27.

Senior midfielder Stefan Runeman added the game-tying goal early into the second half and recorded the game-winning score in the 85th minute en route to earning A-Sun Offensive “Player of the Week” honors. Senior midfielder Jonathan Jackson finished with two assists and a goal in the match, while sophomore forward Tyler Williams also had a goal and an assist for the Dolphins.

Jackson currently leads the team in scoring with eight points and is one of five players tied with two goals. Senior goalie Joey Sanchez has recorded 16 saves between the posts, while sophomore goalie Johnny Foley has tallied both wins in the net.

The Hatters (6-0-1) head back to Jacksonville for the second week in a row after splitting a pair of matches in the JU/Nike Invitational. Stetson earned a 5-4 double overtime win over College of Charleston, but battled Alabama A&M to 1-1 tie.

Senior Griffin Gilstrap leads the Hatters with four goals, while freshman midfielder Jonathan Mendoza has two scores on the season. Sophomore goalie Logan Parker has 29 saves and has allowed only seven goals in seven starts for a 0.95 goals against average.

The Eagles (2-4-1) will open the conference slate against North Florida on Friday before coming to play the Dolphins. Florida Gulf Coast had the week off after splitting a pair of matches in the UNLV Rebel Classic on Sept. 20.

Freshman forward Westin Vallentine comes into the week with a team-high four goals, while sophomore midfielder Cristian Raudales ranks second with two goals. Junior goalie Matthew Smith has made 30 stops and recorded two shutout victories in seven starts for the Eagles.