JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Not only do they put in work on the field but they leave a mark off of it as well. This week, the Jacksonville University men’s soccer team is looking to shake up the Atlantic Sun standings as they host a pair of conference games against rivals USC Upstate and East Tennessee State. Thursday’s matchup with USC Upstate will also be the Dolphins’ yearly Coaches v Cancer Benefit Game; players will be selling raffle tickets up until warm-ups of the 7 p.m. match, with all proceeds benefiting the American Cancer Society.
“We are committed to growing this annual event as well as its ability to raise awareness and funding for the cause,” said Head Coach Ryan Pratt. “I and our program hope each of you will join us tomorrow night as we pull together and do our small part in the fight against cancer”.
This season, the Dolphins have relied on four players to put the ball through the net and so far none have scored more than junior Matheus Saroli. Injury forced the forward to sit on the sidelines for nearly three weeks but he was cleared just in time for JU’s opening A-Sun matches. Saroli returned to the green and gold uniform last weekend to score three goals including a game-winner over Mercer.
When asked about Saroli’s play, Coach Pratt had this to say: “He gives us a real threat up top. Any and every time he is around the ball we feel like we could score and that helps the mentality of our team going forward”.
Struggling to find their offensive rhythm, the Spartans head to JU in search of their first win of the season. The team stands at 0-7-2 and depends on junior forward Dave Musambi to score. He leads the attack with five goals while two other players, Marvin Schmiege and Eli Cothran, each chip in with one.
ETSU (5-4-3, 3-1-0) heads to Southern Oak on Saturday, Oct. 19 at 7 p.m. and are coming off of their third conference win, a 3-0 victory over Stetson. With 12 assists on 10 goals, the Dolphins will have to keep an eye on the Bucs as they are always creating opportunities to score.
Jacksonville v USC Upstate
Notable: JU last played the Spartans on Oct. 5, 2012 and took a 2-1 double overtime win.
Coach Quotes: “They were a conference tournament team finishing ahead of us in last year’s standings. It will be another difficult battle. No different from every game we play within our conference and one that we are ready for and excited to play”.
Jacksonville v ETSU
Overall: JU leads the series, 3-2-0.
Notable: In games played at home, JU is 2-0 against the Bucs.
Coach Quotes: “Year in and year out, they are one of the best teams in the A-Sun. They have played a very tough schedule so far this year and have done well”