JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Jacksonville University women’s soccer team returns home to Southern Oak Stadium to host North Florida at 7 p.m. this Friday after opening up conference play with a road split at Florida Gulf Coast and Stetson. Now 6-5-0 (1-1-0 Atlantic Sun), the Dolphins will play five of their final seven regular seasons matches at home in pursuit of a conference title and the right to host the semifinals and final of the conference tournament here in the River City.
In one of the top regular season meetings on the A-Sun calendar, Jacksonville and Florida Gulf Coast lived up to the hype in a tense match that produced a 2-1 victory for the Eagles. Marie Weckhurst opened the scoring for JU with her second goal of the season off an assist from Sarah Moghadas, but she was matched just before the halftime whistle to send the teams into the locker room all square. Late in regulation, a long-distance goal from Kayley Clay put FGCU on top for the first time. With only about 90 seconds to find the tying goal, the Dolphins couldn’t manage a shot and the Eagles survived to take an early lead in the conference race.
On Sunday, Kaitlyn Bassett scored both Jacksonville goals to give the Dolphins a 2-1 win at Stetson. Ally Lee and Cassie Elmore had the assists on the JU scores, but the win came with a degree of difficulty after Jacksonville gave up an own goal just past the hour mark of the contest to tie the match at 1-1. Bassett’s two goals on the afternoon upped her season total to eight, already matching her career-high that she set as a freshman with at least seven matches to go this year. Her 82nd minute tally was her fourth game-winning goal this season, a number that leads the A-Sun.
Making the same road-trip as the Dolphins, UNF (3-7-2, 0-2-0) lost both matches last weekend, getting shut out in each. Stetson rode a goal in the 27th minute all the way to end, playing stout defense along the way in a 1-0 victory. On Sunday, the Ospreys gave FGCU all it could handle, but the Eagles opened the floodgates in the final 20 minutes to come away with a 3-0 win. Freshman Alexis Bredeau and senior Thea Linkfield lead UNF with three goals apiece. In goal, junior Megan Dorsey has returned after missing a significant amount of time due to injury and is 2-4-1 on the season with a 1.44 goals against average.
The Dolphins remain at home next weekend, hosting a high-scoring Lipscomb club on Oct. 11 at 7 pm and closing out with Northern Kentucky on Oct. 13 at 2 pm.
North Florida at Jacksonville
Overall: Jacksonville leads the series, 6-3-1
First Meeting: UNF downed JU, 2-1, on Oct. 23, 1996
Last Meeting: The two teams played to a 1-1 draw last season on Sept. 28, 2012.
Notable: In the 10 matchups prior to this one, Jacksonville and UNF have been separated by more than one goal on only one occasion. Last season’s tie ended a four-match winning streak in the series for the Dolphins, but JU still hasn’t lost to UNF since the 2007 season. JU’s goal last season was scored by Jessica Cataldo-Ramirez off a feed from Weckhurst. Two years back, Bassett had Jacksonville’s opening goal and Sarah Sierra earned the win as the Dolphins took a share of the conference title with a 2-1 decision.