THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 01, 2011
Women’s soccer hosts Furman and Georgia State this weekend
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After starting the season with four consecutive away games, the JU women’s soccer team will return to the Ashley Sports Complex with two non-conference games in three days. The Dolphins (1-2-1) will start the homestand on Friday against Furman with a 7 p.m. kickoff. Fans can also watch through a live stream at ASun.Tv and by accessing the live stats on JUDolphins.com.

JU will be looking to snap a three-game winless streak when it faces Furman (1-2-0). The Paladins hold the 5-1 lead in the all-time series. But JU win’s came in the previous meeting when the Dolphins posted a 3-2 win in double overtime at Greenville, S.C.

“Furman’s a solid team that is well-coached and has good athletes,” JU head coach Brian Copham said. “It’ll be fun because their style matches ours. It’ll be two good teams going at it. It’ll be a tough game, but we play these matches to get ready for conference competition.”

JU will then face the Colonial Athletic Association-member Georgia State Panthers on Sunday at 2 p.m. The Dolphins trail the all-time series, 6-11-1, including a 2-0 loss in the previous meeting in 2009.

“We know Georgia State will be very athletic,” Copham said. “They’ll work hard and be physical. It’ll be competitive, tough games both Friday and Sunday.

“We’re excited to finally play on our home field so our players can perform in front of their classmates, family and friends.”

Last Time Out for JU

The Dolphins will be looking to revive the offense. JU did not score a goal in its two-game trip through Colorado but came away 0-1-1 after a scoreless tie against Northern Colorado on Aug. 26. The positive is that JU allowed just one goal in 200 minutes during the trip as Colorado College scored its lone goal with just more than 10 minutes left in the contest.

Scouting the Paladins

Furman couldn’t generate much offense through its first two games but erupted for three goals to post its first win of the season last game versus Presbyterian. The Southern Conference-member Paladins lost to Georgia and Vanderbilt but proved it can be a dangerous offense last game. Hannah Stanifer enters the weekend as Furman’s leading scorer, posting two goals and a team-high 11 shots. Megan Dougherty has scored one goal in two games.

Though she hasn’t scored yet, Rachel Shelnutt has recorded six shots, marking the second most on the squad. She also has an assist. India Robinson has two of Furman’s other assists, making her one of four players with multiple points.

Fin Notes

Sophomore goalkeeper Sarah Sierra continued her stellar start to the season, recording her first career shutout against Northern Colorado to help JU salvage a point with a 0-0 tie on Aug. 26. Sierra set a career high with seven saves in the contest and followed that up with another seven-save performance at Colorado College two days later. In all, she has stopped 15 of the last 16 shots-on-goal faced and brings a 0.95 goals-against-average into Friday.

Freshman Jessica Cataldo-Ramirez enjoyed a stellar collegiate debut, tallying her first career goal and assist in a 2-1 win over Coastal Carolina. Her assist on junior Eva Leeper’s game-winning tally gave her three points in her first action as a Division I player.

JU fired 23 shots in the opener against Coastal Carolina on Aug. 19, matching the most shots the Dolphins posted in a game since Oct. 14, 2010. The last time JU had more shots in a game was when the team finished with 30 versus Francis Marion on Sept. 30 of that year.

- By Brian Bohl