WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 24, 2011
Women’s soccer ventures to Colorado for two-game road trip
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A reprieve from the near triple-digit temperatures awaits the JU women’s soccer team as the Dolphins will head to Colorado for a two-game road trip starting Friday with a contest against Northern Colorado at 7 p.m. local time.

JU will make its farthest trip of the season after splitting two games in the season-opening UNF Tournament. The Dolphins defeated Coastal Carolina before falling to UNC Charlotte, 2-1. Head coach Brian Copham’s team will now get set to face a Northern Colorado squad looking for its first win after losing road games to Denver and Colorado.

When the Dolphins enter Jackson Stadium in Greenley, Colo., the squad will face Northern Colorado for just the second time in school history. The Bears won the first meeting in 2007.

“We know they’re going to be a hard-working team and organized,” Copham said. “We’ll have to adjust when to them when we get there.”

JU will then oppose Conference USA-member Colorado College on Sunday at 2 p.m. local time. Like the Bears, the CC Tigers will also be looking for its first win after losing to Denver and Colorado in the opening two games, respectively.

“They are also near the top of the pack in their conference, so we know they are a tough team to play against and a tough place to play,” Copham said. “It’s a chance to play a high-level team and see where we match up."

The Dolphins were boosted in the season-opener by a stellar debut from freshman Jessica Cataldo-Ramirez. The first-year midfielder scored a goal and assisted on the game-winning strike for a three-point opening game in helping the Dolphins to a win. JU will be looking for the Westlake Village, Calif. native to continue her maturation and help provide a consistent scoring punch.

Fellow freshman Adriana Rodrigues also notched her first collegiate goal in the opening weekend, tallying JU’s only score against UNC Charlotte. The Dolphins will be looking for its young midfielders to team with seniors Liz Fink and Jessica Hurtado to create chances against a Northern Colorado unit that struggled to defend against Colorado in a 3-0 loss in its previous games.

“We’re all pretty excited to go on our first long road trip, especially against teams that real competitive,” Cataldo-Ramirez said. “We’re looking forward to playing in a new environment. It should be fun.”

The trip will mark a homecoming for three JU players who hail from the Centennial State. Junior defender Arianne Heaton is from Highland Ranch, Colo. and led Cherry Creek to a berth in the state finals as a high school sophomore.

Both junior Kelsey Latham and freshman Kaitlyn Basset are from Littleton, Colo. and starred for Chatfield Senior High School.

“We have a few women on the roster who are from Colorado and a few who plan on being here in the future, so we’re excited to be playing there,” Copham said. It’s a great recruiting area for us for any player who wants to get out of the mountains and near the beach and play a high level of soccer. It’s a chance to play in front of potential future Dolphins down the road."

--By Brian Bohl