JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – After an opening weekend split of matches against Flagler and Miami (FL), the Jacksonville University women’s soccer team travels to Tampa on Friday for a match against the Niagara Purple Eagles. The Dolphins (1-1-0) and Purple Eagles will meet at USF’s Corbett Soccer Stadium at 3:30 p.m. This weekend is one of two on the season where JU will participate in just one match.
Jacksonville’s equal opportunity offense last weekend resulted in eight goals, scored by seven different players. Kaitlyn Bassett was the only Dolphin to record a goal in each match, leading to her being named the Atlantic Sun Player of the Week on Monday. With 16 goals in her career, the junior forward is on the verge of joining the top 10 goal-scorers in program history, needing one to tie Vanessa Illanes (1999-2002) in 10th place.
Friday night also saw the first career goals for sophomores Lindsay Forrest and Meghan Kelley, as well as freshmen Cassie Elmore and Mary Sturgis. It was one-way traffic towards the Flagler net all night, with Jacksonville outshooting the Saints 32-1 in the match.
Sunday proved to be a much better test of the Dolphins’ resolve. Down 2-0 to a strong Miami team within about a quarter of an hour, it took all of 20 minutes for JU to rally and tie the score after goals from Bassett and Adriana Rodrigues. The team’s locked into a taut defensive battle after that, eventually needing overtime to settle the matter. Though the Hurricanes came away with the 3-2 victory in the extra session, Jacksonville acquitted themselves well against the ACC opponent.
Matching up with JU on Friday will be Niagara, coming off a pair of 2-1 losses last weekend to Youngstown State and Robert Morris. Haillie Price was the goal scorer for the Purple Eagles in each match, with Catherine Meyer nabbing the assist against Youngstown State and Hayley Besaw providing the service on Sunday. The script followed a similar pattern in both contests for Niagara. Price put her team up in the third minute on Friday night against the visiting Penguins, and gave NU a lead in the 12th minute on Sunday in a road match against the Colonials. Each time, the lead dissolved away with a tying goal in the middle stages of the match, followed by a late winner. YSU scored the clincher on Friday night in the 90th minute, and Robert Morris found the back of the net in the 87th minute.
Friday night’s match is the first of four away from home for the Dolphins. The road swing continues next weekend with matches at Georgia on Sept. 6 and at Georgia State on Sept. 8.
Niagara vs. Jacksonville
Overall: First meeting
Notable: In three prior meetings with schools currently affiliated with the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC), Jacksonville has put together a record of 2-1-0. The Dolphins defeated Quinnipiac, 3-1, on Sept. 1, 2002. A year later, on Sept. 12, 2003, JU shutout Manhattan, 4-0. On Sept. 12, 2008, Fairfield downed the Dolphins by a score of 2-0.