JACKSONVILLE, Fla.- Following a 2-0 defeat of #3 Stetson on the road this past weekend, the #6 seed Jacksonville University women's soccer team (5-10, 3-5) will compete in the 2017 ASUN Tournament Semifinals this weekend. The Dolphins will travel to Nashville, Tenn. to face off against the #2 seeded Eagles of Florida Gulf Coast on Friday, Nov. 3 at 5:00 p.m. (4:00 CST).
Entering ASUN postseason play as a #6 seed for the first time in 10 years, JU put paper aside and used a strong second-half offensive effort to overpower the Hatters. Avenging a 2-1 loss in DeLand the week before in their regular season finale, the Dolphins held strong in the first half, sending the game to the break with no score. Second-Team ASUN selection Sope Akindoju guided the team to victory in the latter period of the contest, netting a pair of goals in a span of 10 minutes on a pair of fast breaks, with ASUN First-Teamer Joëlle d'Entremont assisting on both. Keeper Brittany Hundley stood on her head in-net, compiling eight saves on the evening to earn her third shutout of the season. The win was Jacksonville's third over Stetson in the ASUN Tournament, and sends them to their second semifinal appearance in the last three years.
PUTTING IN THE WORK
Saturday's performance was JU's third shutout of the season, and the first in an ASUN Tournament game since 2013. Akindoju registered her second multi-goal game of the season, making her the first Dolphin to have a pair of two score games in a campaign since Kaitlyn Bassett in 2013. The senior co-captain is now tops on the team and tied for third in the conference with seven goals on the season. Her 16 total points rank fourth in the ASUN, and place her at third in the league in both points-per-game and goals-per-game. D'entremont remains fifth in the ASUN in shots on the year (45) and sits at third in shots attempted per-game (3.21). After racking up a pair of assists on Saturday, the co-captain now sits tied for seventh in the conference, with three on the year. On the defensive side of the ball, Hundley has guided the squad to 87 total saves in 2017, the second-best mark in the league. Her 69 stops rank second in the ASUN, and the junior continues to lead the conference in saves-per-game with 5.75 a contest, a mark good for 38th nationally. The team's 17 goals, 47 points, and three shutouts put forth this year give them the most in a single season in all categories since 2014.
AMONG THE A-SUNNIEST
The ASUN conference announced their 2017 All-Conference teams on Wednesday, and Jacksonville had four players honored. D'Entremont was named First-Team All Conference for the second consecutive season, while Akindoju and Jessica Shaffelburg picked up ASUN Second-Team honors. Rookie Madicynn Harnish was also recognized, earning a spot on the All-Freshman team.
- Currently T-10th all-time in game-winning-goals with five; Next: would move into four-way tie for seventh
- Currently 10th all-time in shots attempted with 144; Next: needs two shots to pass Jenny Borschel (2003-06) for ninth place
- Has 12 assists in her career; two more would place her in a three-way tie for 9th all-time
- Her next minute played will be her thousandth in-net this season
- Currently T-10th all-time in goalkeeper victories with four; Next: would take over 10th place, passing Lorna Brownlie (2007-08)
- Currently 10th in goals against average all-time with 2.14; Next: Would move into 9th with an average of 1.96 or below
- Currently 10th all-time in saves with 80; Next: needs two saves to pass Alyce Avenell (1995) for ninth place
Following the ASUN Quarterfinal victory, JU now stands at 16-14-6 all-time in the conference tournament, including 6-3-3 in the opening round. The Dolphins advance to the semifinal round of play for the 15th time in program history, and the first since defeating cross-town rival North Florida in penalty kicks to move on in 2015. Jacksonville is now 2-2 in the tournament when playing as a #6 seed, having also advanced to the semifinal round in 2004 as an underdog. They are the eighth #6 seed to move to the final four in ASUN play, and the second JU squad to do so.
The Dolphins will face Florida Gulf Coast in the ASUN Tournament for the third time in program history, with the Eagles holding a 1-0-1 advantage in postseason play. After falling to FGCU 1-0 in the 2012 ASUN Semifinals, the Dolphins overcame the Eagles in the 2013 tournament championship game, winning the title in penalty kicks after neither team scored in regulation or overtime. JU is 2-5-6 all-time against Florida Gulf coast, with the Eagles taking this season's regular season matchup by a score of 5-0 on Oct. 14 in the River City. The Dolphins will look to advance to the ASUN Tournament Championship game for the seventh time in program history and the first since walking away as champions in 2013.
SCOUTING THE OPPOSITION- FLORIDA GULF COAST
#2 seed FGCU enters Saturday's semifinal matchup beginning their quest for a fourth straight ASUN Tournament title. Having won five of the last six conference championships, the Eagles will contend for an NCAA bid away from home for the first time ever, having hosted the tournament every year since 2011. Sporting an RPI of 34, FGCU enters the weekend with a 12-3-1 overall record, including a 5-1-1 conference mark. Suffering their lone ASUN loss on Oct. 17 to Lipscomb at home, the Eagles concluded their 2017 regular season with a 3-0 shutout of North Florida on Oct. 21. Florida Gulf Coast walked away with 13 different conference honors this year, including having six players named First-Team All-Conference, the ASUN Defensive Player of the year in Ashley Parks, and the ASUN Goalkeeper of the Year in Melissa Weck.
FOLLOWING THE 'PHINS
Saturday's match will be broadcast on ESPN3, with Neil Solondz and Brice Zimmerman calling the action. Live stats will also be available during the game. Be sure to follow the JU women's soccer Twitter page all weekend long for updates on the team's ASUN Tournament experience.