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Starting 2023 With Air Force

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – UNF women’s soccer opens its 28th season in program history with Air Force Thursday, August 17 at home. It’ll be the second meeting between these two teams and the first since an overtime bout in 2019.

MATCH DETAILS

Who: UNF vs. Air Force

What: Season and home opener

When: Thursday, Aug. 17 at 7 p.m.

Where: Hodges Stadium

Live Stats: unfospreys.com

Watch: ESPN+

MATCH NOTES

Series History

  • This is the second all-time meeting between the two teams after UNF and Air Force clashed in a wild overtime affair in 2019 
  • The Falcons took that inaugural meeting, 3-2, getting a golden goal in the first overtime 
  • UNF took a 2-0 lead with two scores in the first frame, with Thais Reiss and Leah Ferlin tallying one score apiece 
  • Air Force scored in the 75th and 87th minute to force overtime 
  • The game was not only an overtime thriller but featured some humid and rainy conditions.

Last Time Out
UNF concluded the 2022 season with a 3-3-4 mark in ASUN play, reaching the first round of ASUN Postseason play before coming up short in a defensive struggle at FGCU, 1-0.

Preseason Honors

  • North Florida was tabbed third in the ASUN Preseason Coaches Poll
  • Sofia Miliancano, Allyna Thurston and Zara Siassi all made the Preseason All-ASUN Team
  • Miliancano put the league on notice with her play last year and was named ASUN Preseason Goalkeeper of the Year
  • Thurston was named to the United Soccer Coaches Defenders to Watch List

Scouting Report

  • Air Force went 7-7-4 last year in head coach Laura Busby’s inaugural season with Air Force
  • The Falcons will stay in Florida to take on another ASUN team in Stetson before departing
  • Freshman forward Caeli Sherman was tabbed to the Mountain West All-Newcomer Team a year ago 
  • The Falcons scored 15 goals and permitted 20, taking 10 more shots than its foes a year ago
  • Sherman paced the team with four goals, with sophomore Jenna Rubidoux finishing just behind her with three 
  • Keeper Sydney Davis tended goal for 13 games as a junior last season
  • Head coach Laura Busby was previously the head coach at Jacksonville.

Season Openers

  • UNF is 4-0 in season openers under head coach Eric Faulconer
  • Last year the Ospreys got a goal from Jersi Dadah to top Middle Tennessee State at home
  • The Ospreys have opened the year at home twice in Faulconer’s tenure as head coach
  • UNF’s last loss in the season opener was in 2018.

Non-Conference – Looking Ahead

  • UNF’s 19-match slate features some very interesting opponents in non-conference play, including a match against 2022 NCAA DI semifinalist, Florida State
  • UNF hosts the Noles, ECU, UW Green Bay and Troy in addition to Air Force
  • The Ospreys play road non-conference matches at Georgia Southern, UCF and Mercer before opening ASUN play at home Sept. 14 against FGCU.

Taking Inventory

  • The Ospreys return a veteran team that features 25 returners
  • 19 of the 38 Ospreys are underclassmen, with 20 being upperclassmen
  • UNF returns 88 percent of its scoring from last year while goalkeeper Sofia Miliancano brings back 12 matches of experience from a season ago 
  • UNF’s stingy defense in 2022 brings in a stretch of allowing just one goal from Oct. 9 through Oct. 27.

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