Soccer preview: UNCG and Mercer
Head coach Bo Oshoniyi with his players.
Soccer preview: UNCG and Mercer
Monday, October 5, 2015

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Oct. 5, 2015) – The ETSU men’s soccer continues their Southern Conference schedule, as the Bucs will face UNC-Greensboro on Oct. 6 in Greensboro, N.C. and Mercer on Oct. 10 in Johnson City, Tenn. The Bucs have started SoCon play 1-1 with a loss to Wofford in double overtime and a win over VMI 3-2.

Previewing UNCG

The Bucs did not win against the Spartans last year as UNCG swept ETSU in three games including a match in the SoCon Tournament. The Bucs' best game last season against the Spartans came in the first round of the SoCon Tournament. The Bucs scored the first goal of the game in the 76th minute by Joao Ramalho (Monte Santo, Brazil). Just 24 seconds later, the Spartans Jacques Francois tied the game at one a piece. The game went into overtime, and UNCG led with three shots in the overtime periods. Francois was able to find the back of the net for the game-winner in the 104th minute of the match.

ETSU has beaten the Spartans in Greensboro though. The last time that happened was in 2011 when UNCG was ranked 24th in the nation. Alesi Osoio scored the game-winning goal for the Bucs in the 110th minute from about 15-yards out. The shot found the upper right-hand corner of the net.

Since 2008, the Bucs are just 2-4 against the Spartans while 1-1 at home.

Scouting the Spartans

UNCG leads the SoCon in the most shots attempted with 159 in 11 games this season. That is 14.45 shots per game. The Bucs are averaging more shots a game with 16 shots in the eight games played. The Bucs are also scoring more goals per game than the Spartans, as the Bucs have scored 1.75 goals to UNCG’s 1.36 goals.

Damieon Thomas has the most points for the Spartans with nine this season. He is currently tied for second in the SoCon in total points. Thomas has netted four goals and has picked up one assist. He has also scored two game-winning goals this season. Leeroy Maguraushe has played in all eleven games for UNCG as he has scored four goals in that span. Francois is in his last season as a Spartan and is currently third on his team in points (7). He has picked up two goals and three assists in the eleven games played.

Thomas and Magurashe are tied with James Smith (Eastbourne, England) with the most goals in the SoCon with four, but Smith has a better goal per game average with 0.5. Francois is also tied with Smith in assists on the season with three.

The Spartan goalie, Logan Rhode, has started every game for his team. He has allowed the second most goals this season with 14, but has played the most minutes (1,055).  Rhode has the fourth lowest goals against average (1.19) and the sixth best save percentage (.714) in the SoCon.

Previewing Mercer

ETSU and Mercer have actually played every year since 2008. The Bucs, however, have not had a good record with Mercer since 2008 (2-6-1). The most recent win for the Bucs came in 2013 when ETSU traveled to Macon, Ga. to shutout the Bears 2-0. However, every game the Bucs lost was only by one goal or lost in penalty kicks (A-Sun Tournament in 2012).

Last season East Tennessee State was swept in both games. ETSU lost both games 1-0, but the Bucs outshot the Bears 10-7 in the first game last season. The second game of the 2014 season, ETSU put more shots on goal than Mercer did (6-5).

The Bears are currently 6-4 overall and 1-1 in conference play. The Bucs and Bears have a pair of opponents in common this season: Clemson and Wofford. ETSU led for 34 minutes in their game against Clemson before faltering 3-1, while Mercer never led over the Tigers in their 4-1 loss. Mercer defeated the Terriers and had to go into overtime to do so. The Bears had to score a goal in the last few minutes of the match to push it to overtime (84th minute). Mercer scored the game-winning goal in the first 1:35 of the first overtime period.

Scouting the Bears

Mercer has several different players that can put points on the board for the Bears. Their point’s leader is junior midfielder Conner Antley with seven points. He has tallied three goals and an assist this season. He has one of the best shot on goal percentage with .583. He also has three game-winning goals, which leads the SoCon.

Mercer has three players with six points so far this season: Will Bagrou, Jordan Duru, and Jourdan Gooden. All three of these players have two goals and two assists. The Bears also have two players that have a goal and a pair of assists this season: Ian Antley and Kobe Perez.

Jeremy Booth is the main goalie for Mercer and has started in all 10 games. He has allowed 13 goals and a 1.29 goals against average. He currently leads the SoCon with the most shutouts (4). Booth has the second most saves by a goalie in the SoCon with 49 saves in the 10 games played.

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For more information on Buccaneer men’s soccer, visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the men’s soccer page.