Bucs begin four-game home stand
JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Sept. 29, 2012) – Having spent the last three weeks on the road, the ETSU men’s soccer team returns home to open up conference play on Sunday as it welcomes Mercer to Summers-Taylor Stadium at 1 p.m.
ETSU (4-4-1) returns from a difficult four-game road trip that ended with a draw, 1-1, at No. 25 Furman on Thursday. The other three results were not what the Buccaneers had hoped for, falling in overtime to Davidson and Winthrop, with a loss to Kentucky sandwiched in between. The 0-3-1 stretch dropped the Bucs from the NSCAA South Region Poll after it had entered on Sept. 4 following the win over then-No. 17 UAB.
The good news for ETSU is that Sunday’s game will be on a field in which it is undefeated in 2012. The Buccaneers are a perfect 3-0-0 at home, having defeated UNC Greensboro, Radford and the aforementioned Blazers. In those three games, ETSU has outscored its opponents 6-2, with half of those goals coming in the, 3-1, result over UNCG.
Junior David Geno (Kingsport, Tenn.) heads ETSU’s attack with six goals and three assists to amass 15 points through the first nine games. On Thursday at Furman, the Dobyns-Bennett product broke Aaron Schoenfeld’s school record for most career assists, tallying the 11th of his career on Alesi Osorio’s (Austin, Texas) first goal of the season.
ETSU’s Last Outing
The Bucs closed out their season-long road swing on Thursday with a good result, playing the 25th-ranked Furman Paladins to a, 1-1, draw. While it ended ETSU’s three-game losing streak, the Bucs had hoped for more but conceded the equalizer with 15 seconds left in regulation. To ETSU’s credit, it held strong through both overtime periods and still walked away with a positive result.
ETSU’s goal game in the 44th minute of play off the head of Osorio. Freshman Jeremy Saad (Sydney, Australia) had possession just inside the top-right corner of the penalty area, and found Geno in space out wide. The A-Sun’s leader in goals and points proceeded to send a low-flying cross through the box, which Osorio headed in the air to put the Bucs on top.
Scouting the Bears
Mercer (5-3-1) will be stepping onto the field for the first time since Wednesday, when it picked apart UNC Asheville, 4-0, at Bear Field. Ashani Samuels put the home side on top quickly with his first goal of the year in the eighth minute, and added to his night with another goal in the 68th to lead in the defeat of the Bulldogs.
Will Betts, last year’s A-Sun Men’s Soccer Scholar-Athlete of the Year, leads Mercer’s attack with four goals and nine points. Richie Edmondson, who also scored in the rout of Asheville, is second on the team in goals with three to his credit. Mercer’s keeper, Greg Ranjitsingh, has been impressive in the early going, holding a goals against average of just 0.86 through nine games.
ETSU and Mercer have met four times in series history, with the Bears holding a slight 2-1-1 advantage. Mercer took the series lead in last year’s meeting at Bear Field, defeating ETSU, 1-0, on Carl-Oscar Andersson’s game-winner in the 79th minute.
It has been a different story at Summers-Taylor Stadium, where Mercer has never defeated the Bucs in two meetings. Two years ago, ETSU walked away victorious, 2-1, during its A-Sun championship campaign. The first game between the two sides came in 2008 in Johnson City, and played to a, 2-2, draw.
Live stats for Sunday’s game will be available through Stat Broadcast on ETSUBucs.com. Free live-streaming video will also be available on ASun.TV. New for the 2012-13 season, all games streamed on ASun.TV will be provided free of charge.
- ETSU is 1-0-1 all-time versus Mercer at Summers-Taylor Stadium. The Bears lead the all-time series, 2-1-1.
- In A-Sun openers, ETSU is 1-2-1 in its brief four-year history. Its only win came in 2010, defeating former conference member Campbell, 4-0.
- David Geno is two goals and three points away from Aaron Schoenfeld’s ETSU records for career goals and points. The junior has 18 goals and 11 assists to total his 47 points. On Thursday at Furman, Geno broke Schoenfeld career mark of 10 assists in the draw.
- Ryan Coulter is one save away from breaking the ETSU career saves record. He and former Buc James Holt each currently have 104.
- Sunday’s game starts a stretch of four consecutive home games for ETSU, consisting of Mercer, North Florida, Jacksonville and No. 16 Wake Forest.
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For more information on ETSU men’s soccer, please visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the men’s soccer links.