Jacksonville Sports Day

SOCCER: Dolphins Kick-Off 2015 with a Draw

STATESBORO, Ga. – Jacksonville University’s women’s soccer team was the first fall program to compete in the 2015-16 season, and the ladies opened the campaign on a high note – a 2-2 draw at Georgia Southern.

Under the Friday night lights, the Dolphins battled back from an early deficit to push the match into double overtime. Senior forward Marie Weckhurst registered JU’s first goal of the year and continued to create opportunities for her teammates with an assist on the second score.

“We had a bit of a rough start, but after the first 25-30 minutes were over, I was pleased with how we played,” Head Coach Brian Copham said. “I was proud of the way we fought back to get the equalizer. We had a number of gutty performances today especially out of the group that played all 110 minutes. I saw a lot of positives tonight and think we have a lot to build on.”

The Eagles broke out of the gate with two quick goals, scoring a minute into the match and again at the 21:49 mark. Melinda Lukas notched the Eagles’ first goal and later Katey Lippitt scored on a deflected corner kick for the teams’ 2-0 advantage.

In the 36th minute, Weckhurst put Jacksonville on the board with a chipper that rolled past GSU’s keeper and into the net.

The score remained 2-1 through the half until Lindsay Forrest knocked in the equalizer 12 minutes into the second frame. In a senior-to-senior connection, Weckhurst assisted the Dolphins in evening the score by winning a fifty-fifty ball and finding Forrest who finished on a 10-yard shot.

After the first half combined for 13 shots, defensive efforts appeared to limit both sides as eight shots were tabbed in the final three frames.

Sope Akindoju provided the Dolphins with their best chance at a game winner in the 91st minute; the shot was on target for a score but was saved by GSU’s keeper.

In her first official match in the Green and White, goalkeeper Sara Wicks recorded seven saves.

Notes: The all-time series now stands at 7-3-2, in favor of Jacksonville … The Dolphins haven’t dropped a decision to the Eagles in the last seven matches … Weckhurst has a combined five points in JU’s last two matches with GSU after recording a goal in the 2-0 decision last season

Jacksonville continues its early road swing Sunday, Aug. 23 at UCF. The Knights, who have earned three American Athletic Conference championships, regular season and tournament, in the last two years, are currently ranked 17th in the NSCAA preseason poll. The teams last met in the 2011 season.

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