FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 02, 2011
Fink’s goal and Sierra’s five saves push women’s soccer past Furman
Liz Fink helped the JU women’s soccer team bust out of an offensive funk and Sarah Sierra posted her second shutout in three games to lead the Dolphins to a 1-0 win over Furman in the home opener on Friday night at the Ashley Sports Complex.

Sierra blanked Furman, making four of her five total saves in the first half. Fink’s first goal of the season at the 52:36 mark proved to be the only scoring strike in the entire game as the Dolphins snapped a three-game winless streak to improve to 2-2-1. Furman dropped to 1-3.

“I am pleased with our effort tonight,” JU head coach Brian Copham said. “I thought we fought hard and competed all night. We’re excited to get a good win against a good; hard-working team. It was also extra special to get the win in our first home game.”

JU scored its first goal in three games off a great individual effort by Fink. The senior midfielder swiftly moved around one defender near the top of the box, kept her dribble and fired a low shot that beat a sprawling Jessica Smith far-side for a 1-0 lead 7:36 into the second half.

That marked the season’s first goal for Fink after the Cumming, Ga. native netted seven last year. Fink fired a team-high seven shots against the Paladins, helping the Dolphins establish an 18-16 edge in shots.

Fellow starting midfielders Emily Culbreth (3), Becca Massip (2) and Miranda Fyfe (2) also logged multiple shots.

But JU’s defense played well and Sierra made her share of quality saves to help the Dolphins improve to .500 on the season. Furman was able to muster little offense besides Dee Markis, who registered eight of the Paladins shot to account for 50 percent of the offense.

Sierra, who entered the game with back-to-back seven-save efforts, has now stopped 20 of her last 21 shots-on-goal faced and has helped opponents to just one goal in her last three games, spanning 290 minutes. She also picked up her second career shutout after also holding Northern Colorado without a goal in a scoreless tie on Aug. 26.

JU will next be in action on Sunday when it hosts Georgia State at the Ashley Sports Complex at 2 p.m. Fans can follow the action through live stats on JUDolphins.com.

- By Brian Bohl