JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Jacksonville University men’s soccer team continues its road stretch this weekend as they take on a pair of in-state opponents in Florida Atlantic and Florida International. The Dolphins (1-2-1) start their voyage on Friday with a trip to Boca Raton to visit FAU at 7 p.m., and conclude the weekend on Sunday at FIU at 6 p.m.
The Dolphins are coming off of a tough road loss against Wofford, but have a lot of faith in their squad to turn things around. A key factor of their future achievements hinges on the new faces of the team. “The success of our younger players is paramount and they have done a good job for us so far this year,” said Head Coach Ryan Pratt. “We are excited to see what the future holds for them as they continue to get more comfortable here at JU and become more ingrained in our team’s philosophies.”
Pratt and the coaching staff have molded a quality group of freshmen led by Jack Burns, Ivo Lima, Marc Meny and Valentine Murombo. Burns scored his first career goal in the 3-1 loss to the Terriers but showed great speed and field awareness on the score. A long ball from freshman Dylan Christie found Matheus Saroli down the right sideline. Saroli delivered a low ball across for Burns to tap into the goal after he made a 35-yard run down the far side of the field.
FAU is having a strong start to its 2013 season with a 3-0-1 record and all three wins coming at home. In their last game, the Owls took a 2-1 victory over FIU. Junior forward Ryan Price leads the team with four goals, including a game-winner in double-overtime against Florida Gulf Coast.
Another Conference USA team, FIU, will host its first home matches of the season when they take on North Florida on Friday and JU on Sunday. The Panthers are currently 2-3-0 and are also a solid offensive unit. Ranked second in its conference for goals (12), FIU is led by junior midfielder Roberto Alterio who has scored four times on nine shots.
Jacksonville vs. FAU
Overall: FAU leads the series, 14-10-1
Coach Quotes: “They are undefeated and playing really well right now…it will take a complete team effort and great amount of mental focus on our part to get the win.”
Jacksonville vs. FIU
Overall: FIU leads series, 20-5-1
Coach Quotes: “They are a very dynamic team going forward…we will need to make sure we our sound in our defensive responsibilities both individually and collectively as a group.”