Women's Soccer Prepares For NCAA Opener

Nov. 7, 2000


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GETTING IT DONE...When the JU women's soccer team hit the field for its first practice of the 2000 season, TAAC Coach of the Year Mike Johnson instilled in his team a three-word slogan for the year: "Get it done."

After advancing to the TAAC Championship game in each of the past two seasons only to watch another team go on to the NCAA Tournament, the Dolphins "got it done" when junior forward Karen Novak (Coral Springs, Fla.) headed in a corner kick from senior midfielder Marit Foss (Hamresanden, Norway) at the 72:05 mark to give JU a 2-1 victory over Florida Atlantic in the TAAC Tournament for the University's first-ever women's soccer conference title and subsequent trip to the postseason.

"This is something we set out to do from day one - win the TAAC Tournament," Johnson said. "I can't say enough about this team. The way these girls have played all year can't be put into words. They did a great job today, as they had done all year, and got the job done.

"We started our season on this field (vs. McNeese State in the FAU Kickoff Classic on Aug. 25), and we finished it on this field. This is a big win for this program, but we're not done yet. We've had our eye on making the NCAA Tournament all year, and we plan on making it past the first round."

JU opened the season with the first of its 11 shutouts, defeating McNeese State, 5-0 in the FAU Kickoff Classic. The Dolphins then traveled to Tallahassee, Fla. to take on the Lady Seminoles of Florida State where the team lost 3-0. The Dolphins did not let the loss discourage them, as they went on to run the board and win 16 of their last 17 matches of the regular season. The team suffered two bumps along the way: one, against regionally-ranked University of Miami, where JU had to win the match in its only overtime contest of the season and the second, a loss to South Florida in its final game of the regular season. JU finished the TAAC slate with an unblemished 9-0-0 record, to become the only team to accomplish that feat since the league combined the East and West divisions in 1999.

HEAD COACH MIKE JOHNSON...The 2000 season marks the third year for head coach Mike Johnson as the women's soccer coach. Johnson has led the Dolphins to a 45-15-1 mark, a .750 winning percentage. His teams have also had back-to-back-to-back appearances in the TAAC Championship game, winning the title this year. This season, under Johnson's tutledge, the Dolphins have set school records for wins in a season (19), consecutive wins (16) and shutouts (11). Johnson was named the 2000 TAAC Coach of the year after leading the Dolphins to a perfect 9-0-0 record and the TAAC Tournament Championship.

Not only is Johnson coaching the women's squad this season, he is also at the helm of the men's program. While this is Johnson's first year as head coach of the men's team, he is no stranger to the program, as he suited up for the Dolphins as a collegiate athlete from 1981-84 and served as an assistant coach from 1985-87.

NORWEGIAN CONNECTION...The Dolphins have three players on the squad from Norway that have been the nucleus of JU's offensive attack, seniors Marit Foss (Hamresanden, Norway) and Stine Kloster (Stavanger, Norway), and junior Trine Riis Groven (Skien, Norway), who were each named first-team All-TAAC. Foss leads the team, TAAC and nation in assists with 28 and has scored eight goals this season. Riis Groven, the TAAC Player of the Year, leads the team and is tied for first in the TAAC in goals scored with 17, including five game-winners. She ranks second in the TAAC, tied for 18th in the nation, in points per match and is 20th in the nation in goals per game. Kloster is second on the team, third in the TAAC, in goals scored with 16. Kloster has eight match-winning goals for the Dolphins and ranks fourth in the TAAC in points per game.