NASHVILLE, TENN.- Competing in the ASUN Tournament Semifinals for the second time in the last three years, the No. 6 Jacksonville University women's soccer team fell 2-0 to No. 2 Florida Gulf Coast on Friday, Nov. 3. The Dolphins' 2017 season comes now comes to a close with a 5-11 overall record.
The opening minutes of the contest proved to be a power struggle between the two squads, with just three shots registered in the first 25 minutes. The Eagles broke through on the scoreboard in the 29th minute, with a close goal in the box from Cassidy Morgan. The Dolphins showed defensive power through a period of play, defending against five shots and a pair of corners from FGCU. The Eagles added an insurance goal in the 57th minute, with Varin Ness making it 2-0 on a set-piece header.
"The girls battled hard, and fought all night," Head Coach Brian Copham said. "In conference tournament situation like this, you know what's on the line, and I thought they really played hard."
Offensively, senior Jessica Shaffelburg and sophomore Zoe Zinis steadied JU, with each registering a pair of shots. Junior Brittany Hundley completed a breakthrough season, making seven saves in-between-the-pipes. The Dolphin keeper now has 87 on her career, and sits at eighth place on the JU all-time list.
"I'm really proud of the growth of this team," Copham said. "I thought the development and maturation that the girls have shown throughout the season has been great to see. They didn't give up or give in, even at times when the chips were down."
With the victory, the defending-champion Eagles advance to their seventh straight conference title game, awaiting the winner of Lipscomb and Kennesaw State.
The Dolphins conclude a back-and-forth season with postseason success, earning a trip to the ASUN Semifinals for the 14th time, and shutting out an opponent in postseason play for the first time in five years. JU became just the sixth No. six seed in ASUN history to defeat a No. three, upsetting Stetson at home, 2-0 last weekend.
Jacksonville athletics would like to all those who have supported the women's soccer team throughout the 2017 season.