Men’s Soccer plays five of final six regular season matches at home
JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (October 13, 2011) – The ETSU men’s soccer team returns to Summers-Taylor Stadium this weekend, as they get set to host a pair of Atlantic Sun contests against Stetson and Florida Gulf Coast.
The Buccaneers welcome Stetson to Johnson City on Friday at 7 p.m., before closing out the weekend against FGCU on Sunday at 1 p.m.
ETSU (7-4-1, 1-3-0 A-Sun) currently sits in a tie with Stetson for sixth place in the A-Sun standings with both teams having earned three points thus far. The Bucs will look to use its home field to make up some ground as ETSU will play five of its final six regular season matches at home. Including the two matches this weekend, the Bucs also play three of their last four conference games at Summers-Taylor Stadium, where they are currently 3-1-1 on the year.
Last weekend, the Bucs traveled to Florida for a weekend series against North Florida and Jacksonville. ETSU, having not earned a point in conference play to that point of the season, desperately needed a favorable result and did so with some late game magic.
Down 2-1 in the 89th minute against UNF, the Bucs created a dangerous chance by bringing the ball into the penalty area. Trying to hold on through the final minutes, the Ospreys disrupted ETSU before a shot was taken, but were subsequently whistled for a foul as referee Alex Sorondo thought Josh Ciambella’s challenge was too harsh. Ciambella was sent off with a red card and senior Aaron Schoenfeld (Knoxville, Tenn.) lined up for the ensuing penalty kick, burying the chance to tie the match with 1:52 remaining in the half.
Down a man through the overtimes, UNF watched as ETSU constantly threatened for the game-winner. 25 seconds into the second extra session, junior Theo Yang (Lilburn, Ga.) sent in his first goal of the year and the Bucs were off their A-Sun schneid with their first three points of the year.
Sunday’s match against Jacksonville saw ETSU take a first half lead on another Schoenfeld goal, his team-leading sixth of the year, but the Bucs could not hold on. JU rallied for two scores in the second frame to defeat ETSU, 2-1, and drop the Buccaneers to 1-3-0 in A-Sun play.
The Bucs head into this weekend with another opportunity for six points, but will have to earn them against two of the league’s tougher squads.
Stetson (4-5-1, 1-1-0 A-Sun) boasts a record which is misleading upon first glance. Three of the Hatters’ five losses have come against the likes of Ohio State, Furman and FGCU – all teams that have been ranked in a national poll at some point during the year.
Jonathan Mendoza leads the Stetson attack with six goals, 13 points, 30 shots and 16 shots on goal, but has not scored since Stetson’s tie against George Washington on September 25.
The Hatters lead ETSU 4-1-0 in the all-time series, but remember all too well their only loss to the Buccaneers. That defeat came in last year’s Atlantic Sun Tournament Championship game, when Itode Fubara (Ogbema, Nigeria) scored in the first overtime period to end Stetson’s Atlantic Sun championship hopes.
FGCU (5-3-2, 2-0-0 A-Sun) entered the 2011 season with postseason aspirations on its mind. The Eagles joined the A-Sun conference in 2007, but had to wait until this year to gain postseason eligibility.
Last year’s A-Sun regular season champion, FGCU is led by Cristian Raudales on the attack. Raudales has scored four goals for the Eagles this season, with his most recent goal scoring performance coming in a, 2-1, win over Mercer. The senior scored twice in the second half, including the game-winner in the fourth minute of overtime for the win.
The all-time series favors FGCU 2-1-0, as the Eagles took the series lead last year when they defeated ETSU 5-0 in Fort Myers.
Live stats for both games will be available courtesy of ETSUBucs.com, and live video will be provided courtesy of ASun.TV.
For more information on ETSU men’s soccer please visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the men’s soccer links.