MONDAY, JULY 02, 2007
Women's soccer releases 2007 schedule
July 2, 2007
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -
The Jacksonville University women's soccer team's quest for another Atlantic Sun Conference title and NCAA Tournament berth will begin on Aug. 31, as the Dolphins announced their 2007 schedule Monday.
The Dolphins open the season with their first three matches at the Ashley Sports Complex and host Presbyterian on Aug. 31 at 7 p.m. Before to the home opener, the Dolphins will have an exhibition match up against NCAA Tournament foe Florida State on Aug. 24th at 1 p.m. The Seminoles knocked off the Dolphins, 6-0, in the first round of the NCAA Tournament in 2006 before earning a spot in the NCAA College Cup.
JU will also host Indiana in a home match on Sept. 2 at none. They will also take on Baylor and Coastal Carolina for the Fourth-Annual Kick Out Cancer Tournament on Sept. 7th and 9th.
"I set the schedule with the idea that our young team would come to a level of maturity and be able to handle challenges day in and day out," said JU head coach Chris Kouns. "The difficulty of our pre-conference schedule was designed to be the most challenging of any team in the A-Sun and hopefully preparing us for the conference grind that will really matter in November."
After the opening home slate, the Dolphins will hit the road for six straight games starting with a trip to the Charleston, S.C. for a tournament against College of Charleston (Sept. 14) and UNC-Wilmington (Sept. 16). They will also travel out west to take on Wyoming on Sept. 21 before taking on Northern Colorado on Sept. 23 at noon.
"I realize that I have laid out a very demanding schedule in front of the girls," Kouns said. "FSU, Indiana, Baylor, UNC-Wilmington and Coastal Carolina all have recent NCAA tournament experience or elite conference tournaments. Our trip out west to face Wyoming and Northern Colorado on the road will also bring a great challenge as they play in two of the most competitive conferences in college soccer. To put it quite simply there is not a `gimme game' on the entire schedule this year. So, I laid out the challenge to our program and now I will have to help us work to achieve success in the face of whatever adversity our team may face."
JU's 11-game A-Sun schedule begins with a trip to face conference newcomer USC-Upstate in Spartanburg, S.C. on Sept. 28. The Dolphins also have road trips to East Tennessee State, Florida Gulf Coast, Campbell and Gardner-Webb. They will host Mercer, Kennesaw State, Stetson, Belmont and Lipscomb at the friendly confines of the Ashley Sports Complex.
The Dolphins will wrap up the regular season against A-Sun and cross-town rival North Florida on Oct. 31 at 7 p.m. for a shot at some points in the annual SunTrust River City Rumble. JU will be looking for revenge after the Ospreys secured a 3-1 victory over the Dolphins at the Ashley Sports Complex last season.
Kennesaw State will serve as host of the 2007 A-Sun Conference Championship for the second consecutive year in Kennesaw, Ga. on Nov. 8-10.
"Of course I realize the strength of schedule could back fire on us and not serve the purpose it was designed for but, to quote an old proverb "to those much is given, much is expected," said Kouns. "This team has been given the opportunity to truly define themselves this year and it is my expectation (with a little luck) they will achieve their goals and make a run to repeat our appearance in the NCAA tournament this fall."
In 2006, the Dolphins posted their first double-digit win total since 2002, their second A-Sun Championship in school history and earned an automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament. The Dolphins will return 15 players from that championship including first team all-conference selection Keri Zwikker and second team all-conference honoree Katie Orr.
2007 WOMEN'S SOCCER