JACKSONVILLE – The Jacksonville State soccer team looks to get back in the win column on Friday as it faces Ohio Valley Conference newcomer Belmont in its lone match of the weekend. Match time is set for 7 p.m.
The Gamecocks suffered their first OVC setback last Friday at Eastern Kentucky and posting a 1-1 draw against Morehead State in their most recent outing. JSU remains in the hunt for the regular season league title and the right to host the 2012 OVC Soccer Championships in early November. Jax State enters the weekend even with UT Martin with identical 3-1-1 marks in OVC play and in a three-way tie for first with EKU and UTM. All three programs have accumulated ten points. Belmont starts the weekend at 5-6-1 on the season and 1-2-1 in its first season of OVC competition. The Bruins topped Murray State last Friday before falling to Austin Peay on Sunday. BU's draw came against OVC front-runner, Eastern Kentucky in its inaugural OVC match.
Friday's meeting with the Bruins will be the sixth time the two programs have met on the pitch and the first in 12 years. JSU has claimed the five previous meetings, including a 4-0 win over Belmont in the last meeting during the 2002 campaign. The Gamecocks own three shutouts over the Nashville, Tenn.-based school.
JSU enters the weekend win double digit wins in the win column and are one of 37 teams in NCAA Division I Soccer that have reached the double figure win total this season. Navy leads the nation with 15-1 mark on the season.
Sophomore Courtney Hurt leads the offensive charge for JSU with seven goals on the season and four assists. The Huntsville, Ala.-native scored both of the Gamecocks' goals last weekend against Eastern Kentucky and Morehead State. She ranks second in the OVC in goals scored and among the assist leaders in the league. Freshman Kelsey Bright has accumulated 13 points this season with five goals and three assists. The Kingwood, Texas-product aided in Hurt's goals with the assists.
Defensively, the Gamecocks play sound defense and have limited the opposition to less than one goal per match (0.83) and rank among the conference leaders in that category. Senior goalkeeper, Katelyn Geddings leads the OVC in saves percentage with a .879 mark and second in goals against average. The Warrior, Ala.-native is listed second among the OVC keepers in saves with 87.
The Gamecocks will be idle on Sunday and will return to action next weekend as they trek to Murray State and Austin Peay. JSU begins the road trip in Murray, Ky. on Friday, Oct. 19 and conclude the trip on Sunday, Oct. 21. That two-game trip will end the regular season road trips as Jax State closes out the regular season at home against UT Martin (Friday, Oct. 26) and hosting Southeast Missouri (Sunday, Oct. 28).