Buccaneers travel to Winthrop and host Furman
ROCK HILL, S.C. (September 22, 2011) – The No. 22 ETSU men’s soccer team will conclude its grueling stretch of four games in nine days this weekend, as it will travel to Eagle Field in Rock Hill, S.C. on Friday to take on Winthrop at 7 p.m., before returning to Summers-Taylor Stadium to battle No. 25/23 Furman on Sunday at 4 p.m.
ETSU (6-1-0) is currently riding its second three-game winning streak of the season, as they opened the year 3-0 before falling to then-No. 22 ODU in the Stihl Soccer Classic. Since the loss, the Bucs have rebounded to defeat then-No. 14 William and Mary, Davidson and Virginia Tech.
Friday will mark ETSU’s fourth road game of the season, where they are currently 2-1. When the Buccaneers return to Summers-Taylor Stadium on Sunday, they will be looking to further improve upon their undefeated, 3-0, 2011 home record. Furman will represent the first ranked opponent ETSU has played at home since losing to then-No. 4 North Carolina, 2-1, in overtime last year. The Tar Heels are the only team to beat the Bucs at home since Stetson did so back on October 18, 2009.
The storyline for ETSU through the past couple of games has been the late-game heroics of sophomore David Geno (Kingsport, Tenn.). Against Davidson on Saturday, Geno found fellow classmate Itode Fubara (Ogbema, Nigeria) in the 51st minute to give the Bucs a, 2-1, second half lead. When Davidson tied the score, Geno responded, albeit with some luck, with a shot in the 87th minute that deflected off a Wildcat defender and innocently eased into the left side of the net.
Against Virginia Tech on Tuesday, Geno found himself in the right place at the right time to send in another late game-winner for ETSU. In the 77th minute, junior Frank Doumbe (Silver Spring, Md.) dribbled the ball all the way down to the corner and sent in a perfect cross that slipped past Tech defenders and collided with the foot of Geno for the goal.
Defensively, sophomore goalkeeper Ryan Coulter (Dublin, Ireland) leads the Atlantic Sun conference with a goals against average of 0.83 – the only keeper in the conference with a GAA under 1.00. Coulter is also head of the conference in save percentage (.829), shutouts (5) and shutouts per game (0.71).
Winthrop (3-3-0) has had two separate three game streaks of its own this year; however, its current three-game streak has been on the losing side. After starting 3-0 with wins over Brevard College, Georgia Southern and Wofford, the Eagles have dropped three straight to Charleston, Furman and Davidson.
The Eagles are led offensively by Alex Mantchev and Akeem Matthews, who have scored three goals apiece. All six of Mantchev’s and Akeem’s combined goals came through Winthrop’s win streak, as the Eagles have been held to just one goal through their last three games.
The Bucs and Eagles have only had one meeting all-time which came on September 15 of last year. ETSU won that contest, 2-0, on goals from Geno and Aaron Schoenfeld (Knoxville, Tenn.).
Furman (6-1-1) poses a more likely threat to ETSU on paper. The Paladins are currently ranked No. 25 in the NSCAA/Continental Tire poll and No. 23 in Soccer America’s top 25. After starting the year 0-1-1, the Paladins have rallied to win six straight matches, with their last two victories coming against Atlantic Sun teams in Jacksonville, 1-0, and Stetson, 3-1.
George Fradenburg leads the Furman attack with two goals and one assist on the year. His most recent goal gave the Paladins a 2-0 lead against Stetson, and later proved to be the game-winner.
ETSU and Furman have played just one match against each other in the all-time series, as Furman defeated the Bucs, 1-0, on September 1 of last season.
Live stats will be available for both games this weekend, with live video being provided on Sunday courtesy of ASun.TV.
Fans are encouraged to come out to Summers-Taylor Stadium on Sunday as part of a men’s and women’s soccer buy one get one free doubleheader. Adults who purchase a ticket for the doubleheader will receive one free ticket for their child. The Lady Bucs take on UNC Asheville at 1 p.m., before the men’s soccer team plays Furman at 4 p.m.
For more information on ETSU men’s soccer please visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the men’s soccer links.