Bucs set for third-consecutive postseason meeting with the Hatters
JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Nov. 10, 2011) – The ETSU men’s soccer team continues its run for a second-consecutive Atlantic Sun Tournament Championship title, as the Bucs welcome Stetson to Summers-Taylor Stadium for the semifinals on Friday at 7 p.m.
ETSU (10-6-3, 3-4-1 A-Sun) put together an impressive performance on Wednesday night, defeating the No. 3-seeded Jacksonville Dolphins 2-0 in the second of two quarterfinals. Redshirt junior David Haba (Germantown, Tenn.) had a career night, scoring two goals to record the first multi-goal game of his career. The shutout was just the second against JU all year, as redshirt sophomore Ryan Coulter (Dublin, Ireland) put together his conference-leading eighth clean sheet of the season.
The earlier contest saw No. 4-seeded Mercer come back from a goal down to defeat No. 5-seeded Lipscomb 2-1. The Bears now advance to face top-seeded Florida Gulf Coast in Friday’s first semifinal at 4 p.m.
Advancing to its third-consecutive A-Sun semifinal, ETSU faces a familiar postseason challenger. The Bucs and Stetson (10-5-3, 6-1-1 A-Sun) have split the last two A-Sun Tournament Championships, meeting in both the 2009 semifinals and the 2010 final.
In ’09, the Hatters got the better of ETSU with a hard-fought 3-2 victory. The Bucs fell down a goal twice, coming back to equalize each time, before Jonathan Mendoza put the game away with a goal in the 86th minute. The Hatters went on to win the A-Sun Tournament Championship title, defeating Mercer 2-1 in the final.
The two sides squared off again in the 2010 final, held in Johnson City, as ETSU got revenge with a 1-0 overtime victory. Scoreless through regulation, Itode Fubara (Ogbema, Nigeria) one-timed a free kick from Colin Pugh (Dublin, Ireland) into the back of the net to capture ETSU’s first Tournament Championship and sending the Bucs to their first NCAA Tournament.
This year, the Hatters enter the A-Sun Tournament as the No. 2 seed. Stetson is 5-3-0 all-time when seeded second, and is 8-11-1 all-time in A-Sun Tournament play.
Leading the Hatters offensively is Mendoza. The 2011 A-Sun Player of the Year leads the conference with 11 goals and 27 points, tallying five assists along the way. Defensively, the Hatters are led by their sophomore keeper, Andreas Schnabl. The German native has recorded five shutouts to an 8-4-3 record, but carries a slightly elevated GAA of 1.45.
ETSU trails Stetson 1-4-1 in the all-time series, but is 1-0-1 in its last two meeting against the Hatters. The two sides met on Oct. 14 of this year at Summers-Taylor Stadium, playing to a scoreless draw.
Live stats and free live video will be provided throughout the entire 2011 Tournament Championship. Live stats will be available courtesy of ETSUBucs.com, with live video on ASun.TV.
For more information on ETSU men’s soccer, please visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the men’s soccer links.