Men's soccer continue their road trip

Sept. 6, 2007

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - After splitting two games at the Loyola-Chicago tournament, the JU men's soccer team will continue their road trip this weekend at the Diadora/Spinx Furman Invitational at the Stone Soccer Stadium.

The Dolphins open the tournament against Coastal Carolina on Friday at 4 p.m. JU will end the weekend against Furman on Sunday at 1 p.m. All contests can be followed on gametracker on

The Dolphins (1-1) started the season with a 2-0 loss to DePaul, but rebounded in dramatic style to beat last year's Horizon League tournament champions, Loyola-Chicago 2-1 in double-overtime.

For their efforts in the Loyola-Chicago game, senior forward Anton Axelsson and freshman goalkeeper Matt Gilman were named Atlantic Sun Conference "Player of the Week" and "Defensive Player of the Week", respectively.

Axelsson scored the first goal against the Ramblers and assisted on Ramak Niakan safi's game winner. Gilman made nine saves after starting in place of injured goalkeeper Joey Sanchez.

"We feel confident," said JU head coach Mike Johnson. "Obviously we have a challenge in front of us as our opponents have a history of quality soccer. Both have been top 20 programs in the last five years, won conference championships and have been to the NCAA Tournament."

After two convincing wins in the Coastal Carolina/Adidas Invitational, Furman is ranked fourth in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) South Region poll. Senior forward Elliot Paschalis earned tournament offensive MVP and Southern Conference "Player of the Week accolades after netting the game-winning goal versus Saint Joseph's and contributing two assists in the tournament. Senior defender Jon Leathers was tabbed as the tournament's defensive MVP and senior goalkeeper Bryan Amos has yet to allow a goal this season.

"This is probably Furman's best team they have had in the last 10 years," Johnson said. "They won both of their games by a total of 9-0. They return most of their starters from 2006."

For Coastal Carolina, junior midfielder Djamel Bekka leads the way, having scored two goals and adding one assist for head coach Shaun Docking's squad.

"You can never underestimate them," said Johnson about the Chanticleers. "I'm just hoping our kids can find the consistency and the same type of quality we played against Loyola-Chicago. If we can recreate that this weekend we can have some good results."