Men’s soccer starts A-Sun schedule at USC Upstate on Friday
The final and most important leg of the Dolphins’ seven-match road trip starts on Friday at 7 p.m. as the JU men’s soccer team faces USC Upstate for the Atlantic Sun Conference opener in Spartanburg, S.C.

The Dolphins (3-6) finish the weekend on Sunday at 1 p.m. against East Tennessee State in Johnson City, Tenn.

“It’s A-Sun play this weekend and we go in as defending champions,” said JU head coach Mike Johnson. “I think our kids realize, because of that, we are not going to have an easy game. Teams are going to be gauging their season against teams like us, Campbell and Stetson. We are going to have to be at our best all weekend.

“We had a tough non-schedule against some very good teams. We also had some injuries, but now there are no excuses. We are going to play with whomever we got on the field and go out to get results. Our team plans to bring our best game to USC Upstate and East Tennessee State this weekend.”

The Dolphins enter the A-Sun schedule on a two-match losing streak after dropping both games last weekend in the Saturn of Charleston/Nike Classic in Mt. Pleasant, S.C. The host Cougars dropped the Dolphins in double overtime, 1-0, on Sept. 25, while Alabama A&M scored two second-half goals to earn a 2-1 win on Sept. 27 to wrap up the classic.

Sophomore forward Conner Vogal scored the Dolphins’ lone goal at the classic on the first collegiate assist from freshman midfielder Kyle Johnson.

The Spartans (1-7) start the conference schedule in the midst of a seven-match losing streak. They have been shutout in five of the last six matches and have been outscored 22-to-5 this season.

The Buccaneers (4-3), a first-year program, head into their inaugural A-Sun conference weekend after falling to No. 15 North Carolina on Sept. 27. Prior to the loss against the Tar Heels, the Buccaneers earned shutout wins against Elon (Sept. 14) and High Point (Sept. 20). They will face UNF on Friday before facing off against the Dolphins.