Bucs begin quest for second title in three years
FT. MYERS, Fla. (Nov. 6, 2012) – The ETSU men’s soccer team enters the 2012 Atlantic Sun Tournament Championship as the No. 3 seed, and will embark on its quest for a second conference title in three years Wednesday when it takes on No. 6 Jacksonville in the quarterfinals at the FGCU Soccer Complex at 4 p.m.
ETSU (9-6-3, 5-2-1 A-Sun) earned the three seed by virtue of collecting 16 points during the conference season, while Jacksonville (4-12-1, 3-5-0 A-Sun) earned nine points to sneak in as the final team. Wednesday night’s meeting will mark the second consecutive between the two sides in the quarterfinals. Last year, No. 6 ETSU blew past No. 3 JU at Summers-Taylor Stadium, 2-0, courtesy of a pair of goals off the foot of David Haba (Germantown, Tenn.).
In two A-Sun Quarterfinal appearances, the Buccaneers are flawless at 2-0. In 2009, ETSU won its first-ever postseason game in a rout of Lipscomb, 3-0, with former Bucs Aaron Schoenfeld and Andrew Brown scoring goals. The game’s first score was an own goal. With the addition of last year’s 2-0 win, ETSU has outscored its opponents 5-0 in two quarterfinal games, and will look to make Wednesday a repeat performance.
Atlantic Sun Player of the Year David Geno (Kingsport, Tenn.) will play a factor in whether or not the Bucs advance. The Dobyns-Bennett product led the conference through the regular season with 11 goals and 29 points, while also ranking second in assists with seven. All three of those marks are new ETSU single-season records.
Defensively, ETSU will be looking toward the A-Sun Goalkeeper of the Year, Ryan Coulter (Dublin, Ireland), to keep the Dolphins out of goal. Through the regular season, Coulter accumulated a GAA of 0.99, posting six shutouts including a big one to help the Bucs defeat then-17th-ranked UAB in early September, 1-0. In conference play, Coulter shutout half of ETSU’s opponents, and posted a league-best GAA of 0.61. The Irish keeper has also been helped by the individual performances of all-conference defenders Maximilian Muemken (Muenster, Germany), Kristoffer Ibsen (Aalborg, Denmark) and Blaike Woodruff (Georgetown, Texas).
Scouting the Dolphins
JU enters the tournament off a blowout of North Florida in the regular season finale, 5-1, and winners of two of its last three games. The other victory came against the conference tournament’s No. 2 seed, Mercer, 2-1 at the Ashley Sports Complex. That win snapped the Dolphins’ three-game losing streak, and essentially kept their tournament hopes alive.
Leading the JU attack is All-Atlantic Sun First Team selection Matheus Saroli, who leads the team in all three major categories with seven goals, four assists and points. Saroli was hot last Saturday, scoring twice and assisting JU’s first goal to total five points in a single game. Another threat to score is Nick Rodriguez with six goals and two assists, along with all-freshman Rene Reyes at four goals.
In six all-time meetings ETSU and JU are in a dead heat at 3-3-0. As mentioned, the Bucs hold the edge in the postseason, shutting out the Dolphins in their only meeting in last year’s quarterfinals. Earlier this season, ETSU downed JU, 2-1, at Summers-Taylor Stadium, highlighted by an 89th-minute strike off the foot of Nate Hodges (Merdian, Miss.) to seal the win. That extended ETSU’s winning streak against Jacksonville to two games.
Live stats will be available through Stat Broadcast on AtlanticSun.org, with free live video provided by ASun.TV.
- ETSU and JU are meeting for the second straight year in the A-Sun Quarterfinals. Last year, the Bucs took down the Dolphins in Johnson City, 2-0, with both goals coming from David Haba.
- Earlier this season, ETSU defeated Jacksonville, 2-1, with an 89th-minute score from Nate Hodges to extend its winning streak against the Dolphins to two games.
- In two A-Sun Quarterfinal appearances, the Buccaneers are 2-0, outscoring their opponents 5-0 along the way.
- As a No. 3 seed, ETSU is 1-1-0 lifetime. The Bucs defeated Lipscomb in the quarterfinals and lost to Stetson in the semifinals in 2009.
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For more information on ETSU men's soccer, please visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the men's soccer links.