Copham’s Dolphin Squad Prepares For First Road Trip Of Season

Copham’s Dolphin Squad Prepares For First Road Trip Of Season

JACKSONVILLE, Fla.- Following a five game home stand to open up the 2017 season, the Jacksonville University women's soccer team will now prepare for their first road action of the year. The Dolphins will travel to South Carolina this weekend for a pair of non-conference matches, facing Coastal Carolina on Friday, Sept. 8 at 6:00 p.m., and then heading across the state to take on #11 South Carolina on Sunday, Sept. 10 at 2:00 pm.


JU will enter its weekend road trip with a 2-3 record, having split a pair of contests at Southern Oak Stadium this past weekend. The Dolphins first welcomed the Blackbirds of LIU Brooklyn to the River City on Friday evening, and cruised to a 2-0 win, recording their first shutout of the year. Senior captain Sope Akindoju and sophomore Danielle Henry each scored their first goal of the season in the match, with both coming in the second half of action. Goalkeepers Brittany Hundley and Micaela MacKay each spent a period in between the pipes for the 'Phins, combining for six saves to earn a combined shutout. JU then fell in a Sunday matinee competition to Florida International, 1-0. The lone goal scored in the contest came by way of an own goal, put into the net by a Dolphin defender scrambling to make a play on a loose ball that had been sent forward by FIU. Sophomore Meagan Gruber showed a strong defensive effort on the back line throughout both games, playing all 180 minutes on the weekend, and accounting for a pair of shots.


Through five games this season, the Dolphins have put up 76 shots, with 31 of those coming on goal. The team has averaged 15.2 shots per game, which is good for a top 100 standing nationally, and fourth best in the ASUN. There have been 15 different JU players that have fired off a shot, matching the number of unique players who had one for the team last season. Captains Joëlle d'Entremont, Jessica Shaffelburg, and Akindoju lead the way, with d'Entremont guiding the team with 17 tries, Shaffelburg with 11, and Akindoju with 10. Freshman have accounted for seven shots this season, with newcomers Madicynn Harnish and Kia Jie Jacobs each registering multiple rounds.


This weekend's road contests will be the first two of six that the Dolphins will encounter in 2017, including the first of two trips they will take to the state of South Carolina. Jacksonville is 11-16-1 all-time when playing in the Palmetto state, and will also travel there on Sept. 17 to take on College of Charleston. JU's game against Coastal Carolina will begin a string of four opponents that the team will face who all hail from S.C., with the Dolphins retuning home next weekend to play The Citadel, before heading back up north to face C of C to conclude non-conference play.


Friday's contest will be the seventh time in program history that the Dolphins will face off against Coastal Carolina. The series is tied, 3-3, with JU making its first ever trip to Conway this weekend. The Chanticleers took the most recent matchup up the series, a 2-0 decision at Southern Oak Stadium last September. South Carolina is on the Dolphins' schedule for just the second time ever, and the first since 2012. The Gamecocks won the only other meeting between the two clubs, posting a 3-0 shutout victory in Columbia on Sept. 26, 2012. Coastal is only opponent that competes in the Sun Belt conference that JU will see in 2017, and the Gamecocks will be the only SEC opponent on the schedule for the Dolphins this year, was well as the only Power Five school. JU is 3-38-1 all-time when facing a Power Five program, with all three wins coming against the University of Miami. 


The Chanticleers enter Friday's contest with a 5-1 record, their best start since the 2005 season. The team will be concluding a four game non-conference home stand this weekend, following victories over Charleston Southern, Winthrop, and Davidson at the CCU Soccer Stadium. Their only loss of the season to-date came on Aug. 24, when they fell on the road to #21 North Carolina State. The squad is led by senior Daniella Famili, who has accounted for much of the team's offense thus far, netting six goals and one assist in the first six games of the season. Each of the previous six matches between JU and Coastal have been decided by two goals or less, with five of the six being one-score games.


South Carolina is currently 5-1 on the season, and ranked #11 in the country according to the United Soccer coaches Poll. The Gamecocks return home on Sunday, following what will be a three game road trip for the team, which began with a pair of games this past weekend in South Bend, Indiana. SC picked up a pair of wins on the road, including a 1-0 victory in double overtime against Notre Dame, and a 2-1 win over #23 Michigan. Before facing JU to cap off the weekend, the team will travel in-state to face off against the undefeated Clemson Tigers, who currently rank #8. The Gamecocks have been led offensively by Savannah McCaskill and Elexa Bahr, who together have accounted to 16 of the team's 32 offensive points on the season.


Both games will have live stats available to keep track of throughout the weekend. The link to follow the Coastal Carolina game can be found here, and South Carolina's link can be found here. Be sure to follow the JU women's soccer Twitter page for updates from the team during the weekend road trip.