Men’s soccer heads to Miami area for first two road games
Nick Rodriguez scored his first career goal in JU's last game versus UMass.
Nick Rodriguez scored his first career goal in JU's last game versus UMass.
A Miami-bound JU men’s soccer team will try and post its first winning streak of the season as the Dolphins hit the road for the first time this year with non-conference games against Florida Atlantic and FIU.

JU (1-1) will first head to Boca Raton, Fla. to face FAU (1-2-1) on Friday at 7 p.m. Head coach Mike Johnson’s squad will then stay in the area to oppose FIU on Sunday at 1 p.m.

“It’s our first road weekend, so we’re approaching this as an opportunity to be tested by two very good in-state opponents,” Johnson said.

JU is coming off a 2-0 blanking over UMass in its previous game. The Dolphins, who played two exhibition games at home before hosting No. 19 UCF, will now pack the bus and venture outside of Jacksonville for the first time in 2011.

The team departs the First Coast with momentum after senior goalkeeper Johnny Foley posted his third career shutout, making five saves to stymie the Minutemen. Nick Rodriguez and Stefan Durr tallied their first goals of the season in the previous game and will look to continue that aggressiveness.

FAU will be looking to get its season back on track and snap a three-game winless streak. The Owls are coming off back-to-back shutout losses against James Madison and St. Bonaventure, respectively.

Only two players have recorded goal for FAU in the new campaign, with Darnell King and Lukas Simons both netting two goals. King has FAU’s only assist as the duo has accounted for all nine of their squad’s points.

The Dolphins bested the Owls, 2-1, in the previous meeting between the schools at the Ashley Sports Complex last season. Darko Karamatic scored both goals in that contest. The now-senior midfielder has two shots through the opening two games this year.

FIU will face two Atlantic Sun members this weekend as the Panthers (1-2-1) host Stetson before welcoming the Dolphins on Sunday. JU lost to FIU, 2-1, at home last year and will look to avenge the defeat at FIU Soccer Stadium.

Like JU, the Panthers have already suffered a tough defeat against a nationally ranked opponent, losing, 3-1, to No. 23 Ohio State. Sebastian Frings, Lucas Di Croce, Quentin Albrecht and Jahbari Willis are tied for the FIU goal lead with one scoring strike apiece.

“We know both schools are going to be tough competitors,” Johnson said. “Last year, they were one-goal games with us winning one and losing one. We’re looking forward to the challenges that each team will bring and hopefully come out with two wins.”

Rodriguez scored his collegiate goal, netting the insurance marker in a 2-0 win over UMass. That marked the first scoring strike in 21 games for the sophomore.

Durr scored the first (and ultimately game-winning) goal, capitalizing on Tobias Hottner’s feed by taking the pass firing a shot through traffic from close-range at the right post for a goal in the 29th minute.

- By Brian Bohl