ETSU capitalizes on miscommunication by Hatters
DELAND, Fla. (Oct. 28, 2012) – Senior Alesi Osorio (Austin, Texas) scored the game’s only goal in the 74th minute, helping the ETSU men’s soccer team down Stetson, 1-0, and clinching the Buccaneers a spot in the 2012 Atlantic Sun Tournament Championship on Sunday afternoon at the Stetson Athletics Training Facility.
Stetson (3-8-2, 2-4-1 A-Sun) had a great opportunity to score when ETSU (9-6-2, 5-2-0 A-Sun) committed a foul at the top of the penalty area. Instead of lining up the kick, Hatters midfielder Jonathan Mendoza tried to catch the ETSU defense off guard with a quick outlet pass. The decision proved costly, as the Buccaneers stole the pass and went on a breakaway with the majority of the Stetson team standing in the ETSU penalty area wondering what had just happened.
On the counterattack, junior David Geno (Kingsport, Tenn.) took a shot from the left side that beat Stetson keeper Andreas Schnabl, but hit the right post. Redshirt junior Luis Calzadilla (Caracas, Venezuela) caught up to the deflected ball on the right side of the box, and took a second shot in the direction of the left post which Schnabl dove for and saved. The rebound came back up the center of the area to Osorio, who finally finished the chance to ultimately secure ETSU’s spot in the postseason, and bump the Bucs up to second place in the A-Sun standings.
“Stetson is a very good team that is very well organized defensively and works hard to get into shape quickly,” ETSU head coach Scott Calabrese said. “They take advantage of opportunities and will win the ball back if you don’t know exactly what you’re doing before you receive it.
“We had a difficult time breaking them down and creating a lot of chances, but it’s key to be mentally tough and determined in games on the road, especially in the second game of the weekend. I thought we showed that toughness and tenacity today to grind out a result against a very good Stetson team.”
The Buccaneers created just two chances in the first half, but put neither shot on goal. The toughness and tenacity Calabrese referred to was shown in the second half, where ETSU grinded out eight shots with six coming on frame. Osorio’s goal was a testament to ETSU’s mental toughness after Geno’s shot hit off the post and Calzadilla’s was stopped by a great save.
“The goal was a great example of the team not giving up and really working hard to find a way to get the ball into the back of the net,” added Calabrese.
For the game, ETSU outshot the Hatters, 10-9, while just one of Stetson’s nine attempts had to be saved by ETSU keeper Ryan Coulter (Dublin, Ireland). The save came in the 31st minute of the first half when JJ Bostic headed a shot at Coulter off a corner kick from just inside the six-yard box. The shutout gives Coulter six on the season and improves his GAA to an even 1.00.
ETSU’s best chance of the opening half came in the closing minutes. A deflected Buccaneer cross made its way toward senior Theo Yang (Lilburn, Ga.) on the left half of the box. Schnabl had come out to try and collect the cross before it was redirected to Yang, but the senior forward had the ball bounce over his head and could not get a shot off at the open net.
Just over a minute into the second half, ETSU put its first shot on goal. Sophomore Simon Schroettle (Rain, Germany) sent a free kick hard through a packed penalty area. The chance brushed a Stetson defender and was redirected toward the right post. Schnabl dove left and made another of his five saves to keep ETSU off the board.
Minutes later, redshirt senior David Haba (Germantown, Tenn.) put another shot at Schnabl, forcing the German keeper to dive to his right to come up with the stop. The A-Sun leader in goals and points, Geno, had another good chance for the Bucs denied by Schnabl in the 69th minute, driving a shot from the right side in the direction of the upper-left corner. Again, Schnabl left his feet to extend right and punch the ball out over the goal line.
Just when it looked like Stetson was set for a great opportunity to score, Mendoza’s mistake put the Bucs on a breakaway, resulting in Osorio’s fourth goal of the year.
Before the final whistle sounded, Franck Doumbe (Silver Spring, Md.) nearly extended the lead, but sent a one-on-one opportunity against Schnabl on the right side high of the crossbar.
While ETSU did clinch a spot in the 2012 A-Sun Tournament Championship, it will not have a chance to host as a result of Mercer defeating USC Upstate, 2-1, on Sunday in Spartanburg, S.C. At best, ETSU can tie the Bears for first place at season’s end with 18 points, but the Bears will have owned the tiebreak after beating ETSU at Summers-Taylor Stadium in the conference opener.
ETSU concludes the regular season on Saturday in Spartanburg, looking to take down USC Upstate. A win in that game could mean a No. 2 seed for the Bucs, and a first-round bye in the tournament.
- Alesi Osorio scored his fourth goal of the season and 10th of his collegiate career. He currently ranks third in the ETSU career record books in both goals and points (28).
- Osorio’s game-winner is the second of his career. His other game-winning goal gave ETSU its first win over a top 25 team in program history, helping the Buccaneers defeat then-No. 24 UNC Greensboro in double-overtime, 1-0, on Aug. 31, 2011.
- Luis Calzadilla earned his third assist of the season. Calzadilla and Osorio are currently tied for second on the team with 11 points each this year.
- ETSU is now unbeaten in its last four games against Stetson. In those four meetings, the Bucs are 2-0-2 with one of those draws coming in the 2011 A-Sun Tournament Semifinals. ETSU won the penalty kick shootout, 5-4, in eight rounds.
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