NCAA Tournament Selection Show Viewing Party Set for Monday 4:30 p.m. at One 12 Downtown
JOHNSON CITY Tenn. (Nov. 13, 2010) - Freshman Itode Fubara (Ogbema, Nigeria) notched a golden goal for the ETSU men's soccer team in the first overtime period to defeat Stetson 1-0 in the Atlantic Sun Championship game Saturday afternoon at Summers-Taylor Stadium.
"I am so proud of this team," said head coach Scott Calabrese. "They have worked so hard and deserve to be champions. This is kind of a story book ending for us achieving the goals we had set for ourselves at the beginning of the year."
The win is the third straight for the Bucs (15-5-0, 7-2-0 A-Sun) and first against Stetson as the Buccaneers are now 7-1-0 in overtime contests and will finish the year with an amazing 9-1-0 record at home. The 15 wins are the most in the Atlantic Sun since 1998 when Jacksonville went 19-5-0 and reached the NCAA Sweet 16.
"Stetson is a fantastic team and they really gave us some difficulty in the first half, especially," Calabrese added. "We kept at it, worked hard and grinded it out, and in the end we are conference champions."
The Hatters (10-6-2, 6-2-1A-Sun) outshot the Buccaneers 9-5 in the contest and had a slight edge in shots on goal at 3-2. Stetson also held a 7-1 advantage in corners.
Sophomore keeper Ronnie Hreha (Asheville, Tenn.) posted his third straight shutout and seventh of the season to set an ETSU single season record. Hreha had three saves in the match as he improved his season goal against average to 0.79.
In the first half, Stetson controlled play as the Hatters outshot the Bucs 6-2 in the period. Sophomore Jonathan Mendoza came out firing on all cylinders for Stetson, but the ETSU back line was able to keep him in check as the game would remain scoreless at the half.
Both teams picked up the defensive intensity in the second half as neither team recorded a shot until the 69th minute when an Aaron Schoenfeld (Knoxville, Tenn.) header went just wide of the frame.
With the clock ticking down in regulation, Mendoza sent a ball high in the air towards the net that just missed going in with 1.4 seconds left on the clock as the shot hit the crossbar and deflected safely away from danger.
In the first overtime period, Stetson just missed the game-winner as Luis Ocejo sent a shot off of the corner that went just left of the post in the 92nd minute.
Minutes later the Bucs drew a free kick after a Hatter foul, and junior Colin Pugh (Dublin, Ireland) sent a great service into the box as Fubara deflected the ball past Stetson's Andreas Schnabl into the back of the net for the game-winner in the 95th minute.
Fubara was named the Atlantic Sun Men's Soccer Tournament MVP, while David Geno (Kingsport, Tenn.), Guilherme Reis (Belo, Horizonte, Brazil), Theo Yang (Lilburn, Ga.), Schoenfeld and Hreha were also selected to the A-Sun All-Tournament Team.
The Bucs return to action next week as they will make their first ever appearance in the NCAA Men's Soccer Tournament. Fans are encouraged to come to the official NCAA Men's Soccer Selection Show Viewing Party at One 12 Downtown on Monday at 4:30 p.m.
For more information on ETSU men's soccer and all other Buccaneer athletic news please visit www.ETSUBucs.com.