JACKSONVILLE, Fla.- The Jacksonville University women's soccer team will aim to get back into the win column on Sunday afternoon, when they host the UNC Asheville Bulldogs at 2:00 p.m., in a non-conference match at Southern Oak Stadium.
The Dolphins enter Sunday's contest with a 1-1 record, splitting a pair of non-conference contests at home last weekend to kick off the season. After beginning the 2017 campaign with a 2-1 victory over Charleston Southern on Friday evening, JU fell in a 2-1 decision to Elon Sunday afternoon. In a game that was highlighted by a stoppage of play in the 75th minute that would lead to a one hour and twenty-nine minute weather delay, the Phoenix came out swinging, and did not let up. After going down 1-0 in the 15th minute, senior Joëlle d'Entremont put up the equalizer, juking out a defender in the box to set up a shot opportunity. Elon would score the go-ahead goal with just under a minute left to play in the opening half, capitalizing on a corner kick by finishing with a header just in front of the net.
A SEASON OF FIRSTS
The season's opening two matches saw multiple milestones crossed for Dolphin players. With the scoring of a deep game-tying goal midway into the second half of Friday's game, junior Kyra Cloutier netted her first ever goal in a JU uniform in her 31st career game. Another 'Phin broke though in the scoring column later in the weekend, when Lauren Short was credited with an assist in Sunday's contest, giving the sophomore defender her first-ever collegiate point. D'Entremont also achieved a career mark on the weekend, scoring goals in consecutive contests for the first time in her tenure on the squad.
JU returns 20 letter-winners from last year's squad to the team, including 10 starters. Among the veterans are team captain and ASUN Preseason Player of the Year d'Entremont, and fellow senior Jessica Shaffelburg, who started all 16 games last year, putting up five points. Also returning are 2016 ASUN All-Freshman Team selection Meagan Gruber, and sophomore Zoe Zinis, who led the team's preseason efforts with a pair of goals.
THE ROAD AHEAD
Sunday's contest against the Bulldogs will be the third of 10 games that JU will host in the regular season, including five straight matches to begin the year. Asheville will be the third of nine non-conference opponents the Dolphins will see in 2017, with six of those matches taking place on home soil. The Bulldogs will be the second of two opponents hailing from the state of North Carolina on JU's schedule this season, and the first of a pair of schools who have a bulldog as their mascot, with The Citadel also on tap.
JU and UNC Asheville will be meeting for just the second time in program history, with the only other competition between the two occurring in 2008. The Bulldogs took the victory in first meeting, besting the Dolphins in the River City 3-2 on Sept. 14, 2008. Asheville is the second of a pair of opponents who compete in the Big South Conference that JU will see this year, having already played Charleston Southern.
SCOUTING THE OPPOSITION- UNC ASHEVILLE
UNC Asheville enters Sunday's contest with a 2-0 record on the season, and is coming off a pair of wins last weekend. After posting a 1-0 shutout over VMI, the Bulldogs defeated Wofford in come-from-behind fashion on Sunday, 3-2, in their 2017 home opener. After trailing 1-0 at the half, the team put up three-straight goals, including a pair off the foot of senior Courtney Naber, as well as a goal from junior Alison Kurucz, her first-ever collegiate score. Naber went on to pick up her first career Big South Player of the Week honor, following her first-ever multi-goal performance. The Bulldogs will host fellow ASUN competitor North Florida on Friday evening, prior to traveling to the River City.
FOLLOWING THE 'PHINS
Sunday's game can be followed online, with live stats on judolphins.com, and live updates coming from the official JU women's soccer Twitter Account , which can be found here.