THURSDAY, JUNE 26, 2014
Women’s Soccer Announces 2014 Slate
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The beginning of the 2014 season is less than two months away, and the Jacksonville University women’s soccer team took its first step towards a repeat trip to the NCAA Tournament on Thursday with the release of its 2014 schedule. The Dolphins will start the season with a pair of exhibition matches, and then play an 18-game regular season schedule that features 10 games at Southern Oak Stadium.

Jacksonville opens 2014 with four consecutive home games, facing Coastal Carolina in the first game of the season on August 22, then coming back two days later to meet High Point on August 24. The next week brings Boston College out of the Atlantic Coast Conference – an Elite Eight team in 2013 – and Lafayette to the River City on August 29 and 31, respectively. Those two contests will be part of a women’s and men’s soccer doubleheader.

The first road trip of the season will be a mid-week scuffle with Miami (FL) on September 2. Last season, the Dolphins and Hurricanes required overtime before the Hurricanes could come away with a win at Southern Oak Stadium. Continuing its road swing, Jacksonville will compete in the College of Charleston Cup on September 5 and 7 with matches against UAB and the host Cougars.

Coming back to their home pitch, the Dolphins welcome in Florida Atlantic on September 12 and face their second Patriot League opposition in Bucknell on September 14. Jacksonville concludes its non-conference schedule with a split weekend, going on the road to face Furman on September 19, then jetting home to square off with Georgia Southern on September 21.

The month of September ends with the Atlantic Sun opener for Jacksonville, who will meet Stetson at home on September 26. The next weekend, the Dolphins face a doubleheader at Northern Kentucky and Lipscomb on October 3 and 5. The final two regular season home matchups come on October 10 against Kennesaw State and USC Upstate on October 12. The contest with the Spartans will be Senior Day for eight members of the JU squad.

The regular season wraps up with road matches against Florida Gulf Coast and North Florida. Jacksonville will meet FGCU in Fort Myers on October 18 in a rematch of last season’s A-Sun title game. The next week, the Dolphins will go across town to play UNF on October 24.

The opening round of the Atlantic Sun Tournament will be held on the first weekend of November at campus sites. The remaining four teams will gather at the home of the No. 1 overall seed for a pair of semifinals on November 7. The Atlantic Sun Championship match will be played on November 9.

The Dolphins will get ready for the season with two exhibition matches in mid-August – one away from home and the second at Southern Oak Stadium. On August 15, JU faces UCF in Orlando at 6 pm. The Knights were 16-3-4 last season and won a pair of matches against Atlantic Sun opponents en route to a NCAA Tournament bid. Jacksonville will close out the weekend back on campus, facing Division II foe Armstrong Atlantic State at 2 pm on August 17.

"We are excited about our 2014 schedule,” said Head Coach Brian Copham. “We have a difficult non-conference schedule which will be great preparation for us leading up to the Atlantic Sun regular season. This fall's schedule is a great blend of regional opponents as well as some new opponents that we haven’t seen before. After going to the NCAA tournament last fall, we knew this year’s schedule was important to prepare us for the rigors of conference play and to prepare to defend our tournament championship."

With the return of 19 players plus the addition of eight skilled newcomers, this should once again be a fun season for the Dolphins and their fans. Jacksonville recorded a 12-8-1 record in 2013, winning the Atlantic Sun Championship on penalty kicks and making the program’s third trip to the NCAA Tournament.