Women’s soccer to host Lipscomb and Belmont in A-Sun matchups
Eva Leeper and the Dolphins will face Lipscomb and Belmont at home. Play Video
Eva Leeper and the Dolphins will face Lipscomb and Belmont at home.
Home has been a safe haven for the JU women’s soccer team this season. The Dolphins have won their first four games at the Ashley Sports Complex and will look to extend that unbeaten mark with two key Atlantic Sun games, starting on Friday with a 7 p.m. contest versus Lipscomb.

After a one-day break, JU will host Belmont on Sunday at 1 p.m. The Dolphins (8-5-2, 4-1-1) have picked up points in five of the last six games, including A-Sun wins over Stetson, Kennesaw State, Mercer and USC Upstate.

JU will get ready to face a Lipscomb (4-9-1, 2-3-0) squad looking to surge up the league standings. Belmont (6-6-0, 3-2-0) will be looking for more offensive production. The Bruins rank seventh in the 10-team league in goals and goals-per game.

“We expect two tough games at home,” JU coach Brian Copham said. “They are two teams that play hard and are always competitive. It’s going to be a challenging weekend.”

Last Time Out for JU

The Dolphins suffered their first setback in Atlantic Sun Conference play, falling to first-place ETSU, 3-0. The Bucs scored all three goals after the 60th minute, marking the first time JU failed to pick up a point in a conference matchup this season. Overall, head coach Brian Copham’s team still should have the momentum as the Dolphins have gone unbeaten in five of the last six games.

“We learned our work needs to be better and we have to compete every second of every game,” Copham said. “We didn’t react as well as we’d like to at ETSU, but hopefully we’ll get another chance to play them later in the season in the conference tournament.”

Scouting the Bisons

Lipscomb enters Jacksonville with two straight victories over USC Upstate and Belmont, respectively. The Bisons will face the Dolphins on Friday before taking on UNF on Sunday, marking the squad’s first road games since Sept. 25. Offensively, the current Bisons team is ahead of last year’s unit. After scoring just 10 goals in 18 games in 2010, Lipscomb has 14 goals through 14 matches in the current campaign. Senior Meghan McGuire’s five goals leads the team. Alex Wagner and Kirsten Heikkinen have both scored two goals.

Fin Notes

Freshman Kaitlyn Bassett continues to enjoy an impact first season. In JU’s league opener at Stetson, Bassett scored two second-half goals to lead the Dolphins to a 3-1 win over the Hatters. She scored twice in a 5:12 span, recording her first career game-winning goal in the process thanks to her first strike in the 59th minute.

Bassett followed that up her with her second career two-goal game as part of a personal-best six points effort in a 4-1 win over USC Upstate. She contributed to every goal, scoring twice in the second half and assisting on JU’s other two goals. Through 15 games, she leads her team in goals (5) and points (12).

Sophomore goalkeeper Sarah Sierra continued her stellar season, notching her sixth shutout of the season with a four-save effort in a 1-0 win versus Mercer. Sierra has also blanked Northern Colorado, Furman, Florida Atlantic and Kennesaw State. In her first year as a starter, Sierra has posted a 0.91 goals-against average and a .835 save percentage into Friday.

Sophomore Raquel Weckhurst has teamed with Bassett to give JU a youth infusion. The forward has five points in her last three games, including a one-goal; one-assist effort in the USC Upstate victory. Weckhurst has started in just six of 15 games but still is second on the club in points with 10 and second in goals (4).

Senior midfielder Liz Fink has 47 career points, trailing only Mercer’s Olivia Tucker’s 67 points for the most among active A-Sun players. If Fink makes her expected start against the Bisons, she will move into a tie for 24th place all-time in career games started in conference history.

- By Brian Bohl