JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Heading into her first year as the Head Women's Soccer Coach at Jacksonville University, Laura Kane's inaugural season at the helm will feature multiple home tests against Power-5 opponents, as well as meetings with a pair of first-time ASUN Conference foes. Kane announced the Dolphins' 2018 Fall schedule Wednesday, just one week after finalizing the team's coaching staff heading into the new year.
"We have some very challenging non-conference opponents this fall," Kane said. "As a staff, we felt it was important to test the team early so that we are fully prepared going into the ASUN contests."
Before taking the field for regular season action, the 'Phins will take part in two home scrimmages, hosting Georgia Southern and Southeastern University on Thursday, August 9 & Saturday, August 11, respectively.
Under new leadership for the first time in over a decade, the team opens its 2018 slate at Southern Oak Stadium on Thursday, August 16, welcoming former ASUN foe Troy in for a primetime battle at 7:00 p.m. The season-opening two-game home stand concludes on Sunday Aug. 19 at 1:00 p.m., when Southeastern Conference opponent Vanderbilt heads south for a first-time meeting between the two squads.
The 'Phins then swim north for a historic two-game road trip in Pennsylvania, marking the program's first competition in the Keystone State in its 23-year history. The weekend begins at Duquesne on Friday Aug. 24 at 7:00 p.m., and wraps up at ACC competitor Pittsburgh, who did battle with the Dolphins once before in 2003.
JU concludes its August slate and begins September with a three-game home stand in the Bold City, starting with a contest against Manhattan College on Friday, Aug. 31 at 7:00 p.m. The game marks the second-straight season a New York opponent has traveled to Southern Oak Stadium, with JU defeating LIU Brooklyn at home last September. The Dolphins look to keep up success against the Eagles of Winthrop on Sunday, September 2nd at 1:00 p.m., who they took down in the only previous meeting between the two in 2010. The second ACC school to meet JU in 2018 comes to the River City in the form of the University of Miami on Thursday, Sept. 6 at 7:00 p.m., marking the teams' first matchup in three years.
Concluding a home-and-home which began in 2017, Jacksonville concludes non-conference play on the road on Sunday, Sept. 9 and Friday, Sept. 14, heading to South Carolina to play returning opponents Charleston Southern and The Citadel at 1:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m., respectively.
The Dolphins begin an extended ASUN Conference slate on Friday, Sept. 21 at 7:00 p.m., as defending conference champion Florida Gulf Coast comes to town for the second-straight year. The league-opening two-game home stand concludes with Stetson on Sunday Sept. 23 at 1:00 p.m. As the No. 6 seed in the 2017 ASUN Championship Quarterfinals, Jacksonville upset the No. 3 Hatters at home, 2-0, to advance to the Championship semifinals for the second time in three seasons.
The team's first conference road trip of the year takes place on Friday, Sept. 28 at 6:30 p.m., when JU travels north to face off against Kennesaw State. The 'Phins wrap-up September with a home bout against NJIT on Sunday, Sept. 30 at 1:00 p.m.
An eventful October kicks off with the 19th edition of the River City Rumble on Saturday, Oct. 6 at 7:00 p.m., The 'Phins look for revenge at home against cross-town rival North Florida, who took the annual meeting last season in double-overtime.
Jacksonville's 2018 regular season concludes with a three-game conference road trip, where it will make stops at the league's two newest members. The journey begins with a match at North Alabama on Friday, Sept. 12 at 8:00 p.m. EST, marking the first-ever meeting between the two. JU then sees a familiar foe in Lipscomb on Sunday, Oct. 14 at 2:00 p.m. EST in Nashville. The 'Phins conclude the campaign with a trip to Lynchburg, Va. to meet Liberty University for the first time in program history on Friday, Oct. 19 at 6:00 p.m.
The first and second rounds of the 2018 ASUN Championship will take place on Friday, Oct. 26 and Sunday Oct. 28, respectively, with the No. 1 & No. 2 seeded teams hosting a first round game, and then playing the winner. The two remaining teams will compete in the 2018 ASUN Championship game on Saturday, November 3, with the match hosted by the higher seed.
Jacksonville enters the new year coming off a 5-11 mark from the 2017 campaign, which included a trip to the ASUN Championship Semifinals for the second time in three seasons. JU will face eight opponents from last year's schedule, as well as play a rematch of both scrimmages that took place prior to the start of the regular season. The agenda also features three first-time matchups, and includes Jacksonville hosting multiple Power-5 opponents at Southern Oak Stadium for the first time since 2015. Overall, the Dolphins hold a 55-46-17 all-time record against the 17 teams they will do battle with this season.
Admission to each home contest is free, with gates opening one hour prior to game time. Be sure to follow JU Women's Soccer on Twitter and check JUDolphins.com for additional information on the team, as the 2018 season comes into view.
Click here to view the full schedule.