Women’s Soccer Resumes with Semifinal Thursday

Thursday, November 04, 2010

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The 2010 Atlantic Sun Women’s Soccer Championship resumes Thursday with a pair of semifinals from Jacksonville’s Ashley Sports Complex. No. 2 Mercer takes on No. 6 Stetson at 4 p.m. with top-seeded Jacksonville facing the defending champ and fourth-seeded Kennesaw State at 7 p.m.

In the day’s first match, Mercer and Stetson meet for the first time ever in a championship setting. The Hatters handed the Bears their last loss, 5-1 loss on October 3 in DeLand. Since that game, the Bears have won four straight by an 8-2 aggregate score. That win for Stetson marked the final win of a three-game streak during which time the Hatters scored a total of 13 goals against the Bears, Kennesaw State and Campbell. In the six games since, including Saturday’s dramatic 1-0 win at UNF in the first round, the Hatters have mustered only five goals.

The Bears eye a third trip to the title game in the last four years while Stetson seeks to return the final for the first time since 2006. In four all-time meetings between the second seed and the sixth seed, the higher seed owns a 3-0-1 advantage and in that one shootout, No. 2 Campbell advanced past Stetson in 2005.

Top-seeded Jacksonville hosts the semifinals and title game for the first time in program history. The Dolphins have dominated at home this year, posting a 6-0-2 record. In those eight games, the Dolphins have outscored their opposition by a combined 18-2 mark and have six shutouts. The Dolphins went on the road on September 24 to best the Owls, 1-0, during the regular season. All-Atlantic Sun forward Lisa Hensley netted the lone goal of the match.

Friday’s semifinal represents the seventh all-time A-Sun Championship game for the Owls and the third in which the Dolphins serve as the opponent. The two met in the exact opposite situation a year ago. Top-seeded Kennesaw State faced fourth-seeded Jacksonville, at home, in a semifinal showdown. Caitlin Dingle netted an overtime goal for the Owls sending them to the title game. Their first meeting came in 2006 in the Owls first-ever A-Sun Championship game. Fifth-seeded Jacksonville upset the top-ranked Owls 2-1 in overtime. Like the Owls last season, that win propelled the Dolphins to the title game. In both instances, the winner went on to claim the tournament title.

Both matches can be seen live on ASun.TV – free of charge – with the Hatters and Bears opening play at 4 p.m. The Owls and Dolphins serve as the nightcap, kicking off at 7 p.m.

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The Atlantic Sun Conference is an 11-member league committed to Building Winners for Life. The A-Sun stands for achievement with integrity in both the academic and athletic arenas, with a focus on the balance between the two for our student-athletes. Headquartered in Macon, Ga., the A-Sun boasts five of the top eight media markets in the Southeast. The A-Sun includes a blend of the most prestigious and dynamic private and public institutions in the region: Belmont University, Campbell University, East Tennessee State University, Florida Gulf Coast University, Jacksonville University, Kennesaw State University, Lipscomb University, Mercer University, University of North Florida, University of South Carolina Upstate and Stetson University