JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A hard fought second half energized the Jacksonville University women's soccer team in the 2018 season opener against Troy University, but the Dolphins were unable to find an answer as the Trojans scored once in each half for a 2-0 decision Thursday evening at Southern Oak Stadium.
"I was proud of the way they fought, especially in the second half," stated first year head coach Laura Kane. "Troy was a good team; obviously very athletic with a couple special players. Our ability to battle back – we had a number of chances in the second half, we just couldn't capitalize on."
Dolphin senior keeper Brittany Hundley was tested with a pair of Trojan shots early on in the 7th minute and the 12th minute to keep the Trojans in check and finished the first half with four stops en route to a seven-save performance.
Just over halfway into the first half, Troy midfielder Maddie Brune got her foot on a loose ball in the six-yard box to give the visitors a 1-0 lead in the 25th minute.
A direct kick from 20 yards out looked hopeful for the Dolphins (0-1), but Troy keeper Lauren Aldrich was up to the task as the Trojans took a 1-0 advantage into halftime.
A second opportunity presented itself for the Dolphins less than a minute into the second half. Following a yellow card charged to the Trojans, senior midfielder Kyra Cloutier rifled a direct kick from 25 yards out, but the shot sailed just high.
A rebound off the crossbar in the 51st minute gave Troy (1-0) an insurance tally from Nathali DaSilva to give the Trojans a 2-0 lead.
With time winding down, the Dolphins drew a direct kick from the right side of the 18-yard box. Though the shot was on target, a breeze lifted the ball over the crossbar.
With solid performances off the bench, Kane lauded a pair of sophomores, "Kia Jie Jacobs came off the best and that's the best we've seen her play. Emma Vasquez came on late in the game and I thought did well for us. Getting more depth into our lineup will be important, so it was nice to see tonight and that will hopefully carry on into Sunday.
"It's a marathon, not a sprint. Our goal is to be peaking at the end of the ASUN season. Ultimately, it wasn't the result we wanted tonight, but we'll learn from it, watch film, and continue to grow."
The Dolphins return to Southern Oak Stadium this Sunday, August 19 when they take on Vanderbilt at 1 p.m. ET.