JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Jacksonville University women's soccer team concluded its 2014 season in the opening round of the Atlantic Sun Championship. Hosting Kennesaw State at Southern Oak Stadium on Friday evening, the visitors scored five unanswered goals to shutout JU and move on to the conference semifinals.
For eight young women, the defeat capped an astonishing collegiate career. Keeper Sarah Sierra, forward Kaitlyn Bassett, midfielders Jessica Cataldo-Ramirez, Hannah Storandt, Joy Grove, Julia Burton and Brooke Comans and defender Miranda Fyfe concluded their time in Green and Gold with an overall record of 41-28-8.
"I'm incredibly proud of our seniors and the work they've done, the trophies they've won and the level they have brought this program to," said Head Coach Brian Copham. "It's a big group, a passionate class; they've put a lot of heart and soul into this team and I greatly appreciate that."
The decision ends the Dolphins' campaign with a record of 10-8-1 (4-3 A-Sun), while the Owls improved to 7-10-1 (3-4 A-Sun).
"Tonight, we ran into a buzz saw," continued Copham. "We gave up one early and stretched the game a little bit. Two of the first three [goals] were on set pieces. We just have to bounce back from it. It'll fuel the younger ones but this was not the way we wanted things to end, by any means."
KSU headed in its first score two minutes after the opening kick and continued its offensive spell through the 89th minute. By halftime, the Owls held a 2-0 advantage on goals from Alma Gardarsdottir and Danielle Gray.
After knocking in a free kick that was taken around the midfield line, Gray posted her second goal, Kennesaw State's third, on a penalty kick at the 76:26 mark.
Each of JU's attacking efforts were met by a swarming Owl defense. With three to four black jerseys sweeping in, JU recorded five shots in the second period with only one on goal.
Back-to-back goals in the 88th and 89th minute, officially closed the door, capping JU's season.
Of Jacksonville's 27-man roster, nine were newcomers seeing action in their first postseason appearance. JU's freshmen, sophomore and junior classes accounted for more than 50 percent of JU's total points which included 12 of 21 goals and 9 of 15 assists.
"The future is bright for this group that returns. We're excited about the talent level. This is the deepest team - talent wise - that I've had since I've been here. We lose a lot of great seniors but we also have a lot of great players returning. I know they are going to be anxious to get better and keep pushing this team to new heights, and I look forward to being on that journey with them."
Senior Rankings in the Record Books
- Fifth in program history in goals (31)
- 10th student-athlete in A-Sun women's soccer history to earn All-Conference honors four times in a collegiate career (two First Team honors and two Second Team)
- Fifth all-time in points (71)
- Tied at third all-time with Assistant Coach Kate Legidakes in career starts (78)
- Appeared in 78 matches, never missed a game in four-year career, which ranks seventh all-time in matches played
- Ranked second all-time in minutes in goal at 5453:24
- Ranked fourth all-time in saves (268)
- Program best goals-against average (1.02)
- Most wins of any JU keeper (32)
- Ranked fourth in shutouts at 17.2