23 Sep UNF, JU take road draws into ASUN competition
The University of North Florida and Jacksonville women’s soccer teams had something in common last week in closing out their non-conference schedules: draws on the road, after 110 minutes of play.
Now, with both teams sporting five victories each, they began ASUN play on Thursday, after the Times-Union print deadline, with both matches at home.
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UNF (5-1-1) stretched its unbeaten streak to five matches by battling the University of Florida to a scoreless tie on Sunday at Dizney Stadium in Gainesville, the program’s first tie or victory against an SEC opponent.
JU (5-2-2) tied the College of Charleston in the 87th minute on a goal by senior defender Alexys Nowak and held on for the 1-1 decision.
The Ospreys out-shot the Gators (1-5-3) 13-8, with eight players getting shots off on the Gator net. UNF keeper Mercedes Sapp posted her third shutout of the season.
It wasn’t pretty at times. The two teams combined for 37 fouls (Florida 24, UNF 13).
UNF’s best chances came when junior Emma Voigt, a Menendez graduate, took a shot in front of the Gator net in the 73rd minute that keeper Alexa Goldberg stopped with a diving save and senior Carmel Oliveiro, a transfer from East Carolina, sent a chip shot from outside the box over the crossbar in the second overtime.
“If we play like that the rest of our games this year, we will be a tough out,” UNF coach Eric Faulconer told the UNF athletic website. “Over the course of the 110 minutes, I thought we were the better team on the night and probably deserved a better result.”
North Florida’s ASUN opener was against preseason co-favorite Lipscomb.
JU fell behind Charleston 1-0 in the sixth minute but kept the Cougars out of net for the next 104 minutes.
Nowak’s tying goal was sent to the bottom-right corner of the net for the first of her career.
“That comeback showed everything about the mindset, togetherness and resiliency of our team,” coach John Constable told the JU athletic website.
The Dolphins’ five victories have more than doubled the two of the last three seasons. JU played Central Arkansas at home on Thursday.
Eagles top slumping Dolphins
This time, a 2-0 lead for Florida Gulf Coast held up.
The Eagles topped JU by that score on Sept. 18 in Fort Myers, avenging a 2-0 loss in the ASUN championship game last April — which came a day after torrential rain made the Dolphins pitch unplayable and FGCU’s 2-0 halftime lead was wiped out and the game resumed in its entirety the following day.
O’Vonte Mullings scored both goals for the Eagles, one in each half.
Bad blood surfaced, especially late in the game, as a total of seven yellow cards were issued, five to FGCU and two to the Dolphins. JU’s Jake Duncan-Smith eventually got a red card with less than three minutes left in the match.
The Dolphins then fell 6-0 to FIU and limp into the ASUN season on a four-match losing streak. The Dolphins have been outscored 11-0 over that span.
JU will play host to UNF on Saturday at 7 p.m. at Southern Oak Stadium in the River City Rumble. The Ospreys lost at home to Central Arkansas 1-0 to open the ASUN season on Sept. 18.
More wins, honors for UNF volleyball
The UNF volleyball team continues on its roll, and continues to stack up ASUN weekly honors.
The Ospreys beat Middle Tennessee State, FIU and Seton Hall in the UNF Sunshine Tournament Sept. 18-19, improving their record to 11-1. Graduate senior Dariana Hollingsworth-Santana was named the ASUN player of the week and junior Bre Walp earned defensive player of the week.
UNF players have won five ASUN weekly wards in four weeks and Walp gave the school its third defensive player of the week in a row. Sophomore Rocio Moro won it in back-to-back weeks.
Hollingsworth-Santana had 40 kills in 11 sets, along with five aces and 37 digs. She passes 1,000 career kills for her college career. She had six kills in the first set against Seton Hall, on the way to UNF’s first-ever victory over a Big East opponent.
Walp, a middle blocker, had 19 blocks, eight against FIU. She added 17 kills.
Ospreys runners climb ranking
UNF’s men’s cross country team is ninth in the latest South Region rankings, compiled by the U.S. Track and Field Cross Country Association. The Ospreys are ahead of SEC teams such as Florida, Georgia, Vanderbilt and Auburn.
Alabama, Ole Miss and Florida State are at the top of the list.
UNF finished seventh at the Florida State XC Open.
Seth Martinez was named the ASUN freshman of the week after running 25:46.0 in his first 8k race at UNF. Senior Nathan Jubran finished 22nd at 24:31.0, a program top-10 time in the 8k which is lower than the time that won the ASUN individual title (24:38.4) last spring.
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