JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Jacksonville University women’s soccer team ends the non-conference portion of its 2013 season this weekend with a pair of matches at Southern Oak Stadium. On Friday night, the Dolphins host the FIU Panthers (2-5-0) at 7 p.m. in a match that will be broadcast on ASun.TV. On Sunday at 2 p.m., JU welcomes in Furman (3-2-1), who will open its weekend with a Friday night match at North Florida.
When action resumes on Friday, Jacksonville (4-3-0) hopes to shake off a 3-0 defeat to a ranked Minnesota team this past weekend. The Dolphins worked hard against the Gophers and had a few good opportunities to level the score at 1-1 in the second half, until the Big Ten foe came through with a pair of goals in the span of about 10 minutes to make it 3-0 and put the contest away. Earlier in the weekend, a goal from Jessica Cataldo-Ramirez that was set up by a Sarah Moghadas run nearly all the way into the six-yard box, and a Moghadas goal shortly thereafter, allowed JU to come from behind to shock Georgia Southern, 2-1. Sarah Sierra was excellent in goal and unlucky to not come away with a shutout. The Eagles took the lead in the 52nd minute after the Dolphins failed to clear the ball out of a dangerous spot and left Sierra out of position as Cori Dulmage fired GSU out in front. Down a goal, Jacksonville took command of the match from there on in, finding the winning goal with five minutes to play.
A year after falling to FIU in Miami, the Dolphins will have a chance to return the favor on Friday night. The Panthers rank near the bottom in goals against average for all of Division I, but an intense non-conference slate should have them well-prepared for their approaching Conference USA season. FIU’s five losses have come against Arizona, Florida, Florida Gulf Coast, Dayton and Illinois. One of the two wins on the season came in August at Stetson. Ashleigh Shim paces the Panthers with three goals on the season and has both game-winners.
On Sunday, Furman will be JU’s second SoCon opponent in as many weeks. The Paladins and Dolphins share a common opponent early on in the season. Furman lost to Georgia, 2-0, on Sept. 1. Five days later, JU would take the Bulldogs to overtime before falling, 1-0. Stephanie DeVita has scored four times for the Paladins, the only player on the team with more than one goal.India Robinson is one the nation’s leaders in assists with five on the season. Rose Hull and Maggie Grisell have shared time in goal almost evenly, and their combined save percentage ranks among the top 20 in Division I.
Jacksonville begins A-Sun play next week with two matches on the road. Friday night is a clash between the top two teams in the Atlantic Sun preseason poll as the Dolphins visit defending league champion Florida Gulf Coast. On Sunday, JU will get together with Stetson to close out the opening weekend of conference action.
FIU at Jacksonville
Overall: Jacksonville leads, 4-1-0
First Meeting: The Dolphins defeated the Panthers, 3-2, on Sept. 3, 2000
Last Meeting: On Aug. 19, 2012, FIU defeated JU, 2-1, on the opening weekend of the season in Miami
Notable: Moghadas scored her first career goal against FIU last season, getting an assist from Cataldo-Ramirez. The Panthers scored the winning goal with 31 seconds remaining in regulation to get their first-ever win over the Dolphins.
Furman at Jacksonville
Overall: Furman leads, 6-2-0
First Meeting: The Paladins won a 9-0 decision in Greenville, S.C. on Oct. 7, 1995
Last Meeting: Furman downed Jacksonville, 3-1, last season in South Carolina on Sept. 8, 2012
Notable: Jacksonville and Furman have played in each of the last four seasons, with each squad nabbing two wins in that time. Moghadas assisted on JU’s goal in last season’s game, while DeVita – Furman’s leading scorer this season – had the last Paladin goal to make it 3-1.