Men's soccer completes six-game road trip this weekend

Sept. 20, 2007

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - JU's men's soccer team will complete its season opening six game road-trip this weekend as they face Georgia State on Friday at 3:00 p.m. in Atlanta and UAB at 1:00 p.m. in Birmingham on Sunday.

The Dolphins (1-2-1), who were not in action this weekend, will look to gain some momentum as they get ready for their Atlantic Sun opener next weekend. Senior forward Anton Axelsson and junior midfielder Ramak Niakan safi each lead the team with two goals apiece.

"We're very excited about the two-game opportunity that we have in front of us this weekend," said JU head coach Mike Johnson. "We play two teams which compete in very good conferences.

"Our kids feel very confident going into the weekend and look forward to the challenge. We feel the toughness of our early schedule, though it has been difficult, is getting us prepared for our A-Sun conference schedule."

Georgia State (1-3-1) participated in the FAU classic last weekend, where head coach Kerem Daser's squad dropped both of their games. Senior midfielder Floreal Pedrazo and junior midfielder Joe Devito were named to the all-tournament team. Pedrazo is the leading scorer for Georgia State, registering four of the Panthers' seven goals, while also adding an assist.

"Georgia State is a team trying to find a rhythm right now," Johnson said. "They are a former A-Sun opponent and will be prepared to battle us on Friday."

Panther's assistant coach Brett Surrency will be reunited with his alma mater this weekend - Surrency was a four year starter for JU from 2000 - 2004. In 2003 he was named the Dolphins' team MVP, and earned first-team A-Sun honors.

"Brett's a good kid, he was a good player here," said Johnson. "It is always nice to run up against a former player. I know he is working hard at Georgia State and I'm sure he is going to have his team prepared to play."

Mike Getman and his UAB (4-2) squad, hosted and won the UAB Classic last weekend. Junior forward Frank Brown was named to the College Soccer News National Team of the Week after scoring the game-winning goal in both games and earning MVP honors. Junior midfielder Dejan Jakovic was named to the 2007 preseason Missouri Athletic Club's Hermann Trophy watch list. The Hermann Trophy is awarded to the top college soccer players in the nation.

"UAB is a preseason pick to finish second in Conference USA," Johnson said. "They went to the NCAA Tournament last year."