JACKSONVILLE, Fla.- Fresh off their first conference victory of the 2017 season, the Jacksonville University women's soccer team will now travel north for a pivotal weekend road trip against a pair of ASUN foes. The Dolphins will head to Georgia on Friday, Oct. 6 to face Kennesaw State at 5:00 p.m., and to Tennessee on Sunday, Oct. 8 to battle Lipscomb at 2:00 p.m. EST (1:00 p.m. Central).
In the second of seven scheduled conference matchups that JU will take part in in 2017, the 'Phins started strong and never looked back, posting their second shutout of the year, in a 2-0 decision at home over NJIT. The team halted a four game losing streak, out-shooting the Highlanders 22-8, including 13-6 in the second half. Sophomore Danielle Henry got JU on the board just before the break, capitalizing on the Dolphins' first penalty kick opportunity of the season for her second score in 2017. Senior captain Sope Akindoju added an insurance goal for the Dolphins in the game's 54th minute, finishing off a far-side corner kick by Camille Copperthite with a header for her second connection of the season. Due to unplayable field conditions as a result of heavy rain and wind in the Jacksonville area, Sunday's scheduled contest between JU and USC Upstate was postponed to a later date, effectively ending weekend play for the team.
FOLLOW THE LEADER
The 'Phins have continued to rally around strong performances on both sides of the ball, that have been led by upperclassmen. Senior Joëlle d'Entremont now has 38 shots on the season and 137 attempted in her career, good for the third most in the ASUN, and 10th best in school history. The team captain is averaging 4.22 shots-per-game, a mark that is second in the conference and 21st nationally. Fellow captain Akindoju is now tied for the team lead in goals on year, and ranks second on the team in shots taken with 15, while co-captain Jessica Shaffelburg is third with 12. On the defensive side of the ball, Shaffelburg, who has spent time on the back line the past four games, and junior Meagan Gruber have limited opposing offenses, contributing to the team's second shutout of the year in Friday's win. Goalkeeper Brittany Hundley has spent the last five games in net for the dolphins, collecting 34 saves, and is averaging 5.67 per-game, remaining tops in the conference and moving up to 43rd nationally in the category. Additionally, The Dolphins now have the least amount of fouls and offside penalties committed in the ASUN conference
WALKING ON A-SUN SHINE
With head coach Brian Copham in his tenth year at the helm of the program, the Dolphins will once again look to put forth a strong showing in conference play. With the collection of their first conference win of 2017 on Friday, the squad currently holds a 98-59-19 record all-time in conference play, with hopes of reaching the century mark this year in reach. Copham will look to pick up his 50th win in ASUN play as the coach of the 'Phins, currently holding in a 48-21-9 conference mark. The team will look to advance past the first round of the ASUN tournament for the first time since 2015, when they defeated cross-town rival North florida in a shootout to advance to the semifinal round. In the last five seasons, JU has fared well in conference competition, posting a 22-15-4 record since 2012.
THE ROAD AHEAD
The Dolphins enter their second road trip of the season with a 3-6 record overall, including a 1-1 mark in ASUN play. The team will look to match and overtake their record from last season in the comping contests, looking to best a 4-11-1 mark from 2016. The upcoming matches will mark the third and fourth of seven conference contests that JU will take part in this season, including the first two of three that will be played away from the river city. It will be the final time this season that the team will play a pair of games in a weekend (Friday and Sunday), and will be the only time in 2017 that it has occurred on the road. Friday's trip to Georgia and Sunday's to Tennessee will mark the only time this season that JU will play contests in either state, with the Dolphins holding a 14-23-2 record all-time in Florida's northern neighbor, and a 14-5 all-time mark in the Volunteer State. Following the weekend road trip, Jacksonville will return home to host Florida Gulf Coast on Saturday, Oct. 14 at 7:00 p.m.
The Dolphins will look to snap losing streaks against both upcoming opponents, having dropped their last two games against Kennesaw State, and the last four played against the Bison of Lipscomb. JU is 6-11 all-time when facing Kennesaw, with the Owls holding a 5-3 advantage when the match is played on their turf. KSU defeated the Dolphins 2-1 in overtime on Oct. 02, 2016 at Southern Oak Stadium, and knocked JU out of the ASUN Tournament later in the month, taking a 4-1 decision on Oct. 29. The Dolphins will look to win their first contest over the Owls since 2015, when they shutout their Georgia rivals on their home pitch. Sunday's match will also be one of hopeful redemption for Jacksonville, as they look to win their first contest over Lipscomb in five years. Having won the first 12 meetings between the two teams in program history, the Bison have taken the last four, including a 2-1 decision on Sept. 20, 2016.
SCOUTING THE OPPOSITION- KENNESAW STATE
The Owls will enter Friday's contest with a 5-5-3 record, including a 0-2-1 showing in ASUN play. Having not won a contest since Sept. 15, KSU dropped a pair of non-conference matchups before tying USC Upstate to begin conference play. The Owls then dropped contests to Stetson and Florida Gulf Coast, with both teams outscoring them by a total of 6-0 in those games. The team is led offensively by senior Ashtah Das, whose four goals and ten points rank first in scoring for the squad. Defensively, ASUN All-Preseason defender Abby Roth and redshirt-freshman goalkeeper Tiffany Sornpao have each earned ASUN Defensive Player of the Week honors this season, with Sornpao currently second in the conference with 50 saves.
SCOUTING THE OPPOSITION- LIPSCOMB
The 2016 ASUN Runners-Up, the Bison currently stand at 4-5-3, including 1-0-1 in conference action. After a 4-0 shutout of Alabama State to conclude non-conference play, Lipscomb opened up ASUN play with a 3-0 shutout of NJIT on the road. Following the postponement on their scheduled matchup on Friday evening against Florida Gulf Coast due to rain, the Bison tied Stetson in Deland, Fla. on Sunday afternoon, with a 1-1 final being the end result. The team is led offensively by redshirt-senior Ellen Lundy, who has guided the club with a team-high three goals scored. Freshman Riley Henry was named the ASUN Offensive Player of the Week back on Aug. 21, following a two goal effort that allowed Lipscomb to tie #10 Auburn on the road.
FOLLOWING THE 'PHINS
Both of this weekend's road matchups will be streamed live, with the game against Kennesaw State airing on ESPN3, and the contest versus Lipscomb streaming on Facebook Live. Both contests will also have live stats available. For access to stats for the Kennesaw State game, click here, and for the Lipscomb contest, click here. As always, there will be live updates posted from the Jacksonville women's soccer Twitter account.