FRIDAY, OCTOBER 22, 2010
Women’s soccer tops rival UNF in overtime thriller, 3-2 (OT)
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In true rivalry fashion, the JU women’s soccer team rebounded from two second-half goals to down cross-town rival UNF, 3-2 (OT), on Friday night in front of an electric crowd of 581 at Hodges Stadium to move JU to a 3-0 lead in the SunTrust River City Rumble.

The Dolphins (12-4-2, 8-1-1 A-Sun) scored twice in the first half, seemingly on their way to a comfortable victory, but two goals in the second 45 minutes from the Ospreys (7-10-0, 6-4-0) pushed the match to overtime. In the first half of overtime, the green and gold finished the match off with a game-winning goal from freshman forward Courtney Conrad.

“This was a great rivalry game with high intensity and excitement,” said JU head coach Brian Copham. “UNF always plays us tough and we know we’re always going to have a battle on our hands. We’re really happy to close out the regular season with a win and really grateful for the support from our fans.”

The Dolphins opened up the match in familiar fashion, scoring within the first 10 minutes to grab the lead. Redshirt-junior Liz Fink delivered a high corner to the top of the box that was headed into the middle by senior defender Devon Dowell. Sophomore forward Lisa Hensley was sitting in the middle of the box waiting for the ball and finished past the charging keeper.

JU would soon make it 2-0 in the 28th minute on a rocket from Fink. Taking a free kick from 25 yards out, the junior fired a ball under the two-player wall and snuck her shot into the left side of the goal.

The second half would see the Ospreys come back into contention, however, when Carolina Lencina took a shot from the left side of the area and beat junior goalie Alexa Rooney in the 63rd minute.

The match would become tied in the 85th minute thanks to a shot from Michele Larrinaga. Larrinaga slipped behind the JU defense and took a shot from the left, leaving Rooney unable to stop the effort.

Four minutes into extra time, the Ospreys thought they had won the match on a breakaway to goal but Rooney made a tremendous save, coming off her line and diving in front of the ball.

Rooney’s save pushed JU forward and two minutes later the Dolphins ended the match. Sophomore midfielder Becca Massip was played down the right wing and beat her defender to the corner. Her pass was a perfect one across the box, finding the trailing Conrad for the clean finish to secure the win for the Dolphins.

JU was outshot by UNF in the contest, 13-8. The Dolphins withstood early pressure from the home side as the Ospreys produced eight corners in the first half but were unable to score. Rooney made four saves on the night and closes out the conference regular season giving up just three goals.

JU will be scoreboard watching tomorrow as a Florida Gulf Coast draw or loss to Stetson will result in an outright regular season championship for the Dolphins who are already set to host the A-Sun Championship in two weeks.