Women’s soccer falls to UNC Charlotte
Adriana Rodrigues scored her first career collegiate goal and sophomore goalkeeper Sarah Sierra set a personal high in saves, but the JU women’s soccer team lost, 2-1, to UNC Charlotte in the second leg of the UNF Tournament at Hodges Field on Sunday afternoon.

JU erased a 1-0 deficit early in the second half before Sara Trexler scored the eventual game-winner at 64:48. The Dolphins came away with a spilt in the two-game tournament against non-conference opponents, falling to 1-1 after beating Coastal Carolina in the opener on Friday. UNC Charlotte improved to 1-0-1.

Sierra finished with five saves, including four in the second half, to give the Dolphins a chance to make a comeback. She has allowed just three total goals through her first two collegiate starts.

“I was a little disappointed today with some miscommunication, but these things happen early in the season,” head coach Brian Copham said. “Hopefully we learn from these mistakes. We need to work together as a team to get better.”

Charlotte struck first just 5:50 in when Oni Bernard stationed herself at the right of the box and chipped Jonna Handra’s feed over Sierra for the early advantage, marking the first half’s only scoring.

Rodrigues, a transfer from the Florida Gators program, netted her first NCAA score just 6:02 into the second half. With JU trailing, 1-0, Rodrigues gained control off Jessica Hurtado’s tipped pass. The red-shirt freshman fired a low shot from just inside the box, beating 49ers goalkeeper Alex Kubrick low-side to the far post for the equalizer.

But Charlotte pulled ahead in the second half, countering JU’s goal with sustained offensive pressure. The 49ers fired eight shots, including five on goal, after the break. The pressure culminated in Texler’s goal when the forward took Macky Wing’s pass and raced past two JU defenders.

After gaining two strides on the final defender, Trexler booted a hard shot to the left corner for the 2-1 edge with 25:12 remaining.

JU had multiple chances to tie it in the final 20 minutes but Kubrick came up big with six saves.

“We did a good job to fight back,” Copham said. “We played against a good; well-coached team which made things difficult “We have to find a way to not put ourselves in a hole early on and make things easier for ourselves moving forward.”

Freshman Kaitlyn Basset finished with a team-high five shots, including a shot Kubrick made a nice save on at 70:46.

Senior Liz Fink also tested the Charlotte netminder with JU’s last salvo. But Kubrick caught the midfielder’s shot attempt from just inside the box to preserve the one-goal edge. Fink finished with four shots (two on goal).

JU will now embark on the longest road trip of the season when it travels to Colorado for two games, starting Friday against Northern Colorado. Game time from Greenly, Colo. is scheduled for 9 p.m. Eastern Time.

- By Brian Bohl