Buccaneers looking for a chance to defend A-Sun title
JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (October 28, 2011) – The ETSU men’s soccer team closes out the conference schedule on Saturday, October 29, at 1 p.m. inside Summers-Taylor Stadium, needing a win against USC Upstate to secure its spot in the A-Sun Tournament field.
The Bucs (8-5-3, 2-4-1 A-Sun) are not alone on Saturday in their quest for a tournament berth, as Upstate (5-7-2, 2-3-2 A-Sun) faces a very similar scenario needing a win to guarantee its spot as well. With a tie, the Spartans still clinch a spot via the A-Sun tiebreaking rules.
ETSU currently sits in eighth place with seven points in the A-Sun standings, but Mercer, Belmont and Upstate are all within striking distance at eight points. The Bears and Bruins square off on Sunday in their final A-Sun game of the year. If they were to tie, an ETSU win would jump the Bucs all the way to the No. 5 seed.
Sophomore David Geno (Kingsport, Tenn.) and senior Aaron Schoenfeld (Knoxville, Tenn.) have been the Bucs’ two primary scoring threats, combining for over half – 13 of 21 – of ETSU’s goals on the season. Geno leads the team with seven goals and, more importantly, four crucial game-winners.
One of Geno’s game-winners came against the A-Sun’s current first place team, Florida Gulf Coast. Down, 1-0, at halftime, redshirt freshman Nick Dykes (Nashville, Tenn.) scored the equalizer on his first goal of the season before Geno pulled through with the eventual game-winner less than five minutes later.
The loss was FGCU’s first of the year in conference and remains their only loss in A-Sun play as the Eagles sit atop the conference at 6-1-0.
Jolted with new life, the Bucs traveled to Mercer for a chance at three more points and all but guarantee a spot in the A-Sun Tournament. Outshooting the Bears, 10-7, through the contest, ETSU seemed in control, but surrendered a 79th-minute goal to fall, 1-0.
The loss put the Bucs’ fate temporarily out of their hands, but losses by both Lipscomb and Belmont on Sunday put ETSU right back in control of its A-Sun Tournament destiny.
Upstate has struggled to score this season, scoring 13 goals in 14 games for a goals per game average of just 0.93. Dylan Hoop has been the Spartans main scoring threat, leading the team with four goals, but has not put in a goal since Upstate’s, 2-0, win over North Florida on October 9.
The Spartans head into Saturday off a 10-day break, having not played a match since their, 0-0 draw with Mercer back on October 19. In its contest prior to Mercer, Upstate took Stetson to double overtime after being outshot 25-6 in regulation, but eventually fell in the 100th minute when Gonzalo De Mujica spoiled the upset.
ETSU leads the all-time series 2-0-1 against Upstate, including a convincing, 4-1, victory at Upstate on October 27 of last year.
Live stats will be available for Saturday’s game courtesy of ETSUBucs.com.
ETSU’s will be celebrating its 2011 Homecoming during the game, as fans in attendance will be able to partake in a charity carnival and a luncheon. The luncheon will last until 2 p.m. At halftime, the Homecoming King and Queen will be announced on the field.
For more information on ETSU men’s soccer, please visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the men’s soccer links.