JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. - What a difference two days can make. Though the offense produced plenty of chances on Friday night at USC Upstate, the Jacksonville University women’s soccer team couldn’t put one in the back of the net. On Sunday afternoon at East Tennessee State, the Dolphins (10-6-0, 5-2-0 Atlantic Sun) were not about to let history repeat itself. Pressuring the Buccaneers throughout, Jacksonville scored a goal in each half and was the recipient of an ETSU own goal as well, coming away with a 3-0 win that clinched a spot in the Atlantic Sun Tournament.
The Dolphins announced their intentions early on, as Marie Weckhurst sent a shot just wide in the first minute of the contest. Kaitlyn Bassett was also in on the action with a pair of shots in the opening 10 minutes. She then keyed the first Jacksonville goal in the 18th minute, sending a shot off the post that rebounded out to Sarah Moghadas, who slid the ball home for her fifth goal of the season and what would turn out to be her fourth game-winner.
Up 1-0, the Dolphins continued to attack and were rewarded as a cross into the box from Ally Lee took a deflection and trickled past ETSU goalkeeper Jasmine Elliott to double the JU advantage before the break. Jacksonville almost made it three before halftime, but a Miranda Fyfe effort in the final minute of the half hit the crossbar and stayed out.
After a scoreless half-hour in the second half, Weckhurst put the game away with her third goal of the season. Bassett again supplied the assist on the score to make it 3-0.
ETSU was continually stymied throughout the match to find a way past the Jacksonville defense. The Buccaneers would end the match with 17 shots, yet Sarah Sierra made only one save, a testament to the organization of the Dolphins when they were forced into their final third.
Disregarding penalty kicks, Jacksonville has not allowed an opponent to score a goal from the run of play in 403 minutes, dating back to the team’s 3-1 win over North Florida on October 4.
“I was very proud of the overall effort today,” said Head Coach Brian Copham. “The defense was exceptional against a very dangerous attacking team. It was excellent work to get three points in a Sunday afternoon road match.”
Jacksonville is now alone in second place in the A-Sun and controls its own destiny in terms of securing a bye to the semifinals of the conference tournament. The Dolphins conclude the regular season next weekend at home, facing a pair of opponents who are nipping at their heels in the standings. On Friday night, Kennesaw State comes in for a 7 pm match. Mercer and Jacksonville will then battle on Sunday at 2 pm at Southern Oak Stadium as JU celebrates Senior Day.