JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Oct. 12, 2015) – The ETSU men’s soccer finished last week going 0-1-1 with a 1-1 tie at UNCG and a 1-0 loss at home against Mercer. The Bucs look to regain momentum as Furman and VMI are the next two teams on the schedule for the Bucs this week.
Even though Furman is leading the Southern Conference with a 3-1 record, they have the same overall record as they Bucs at 4-4-2. Furman started the SoCon schedule winning three straight games with wins over VMI, UNCG, and Mercer. However, the Paladins were given their first loss in SoCon play at home when Wofford defeated the Paladins 3-1 in Greenville, S.C. on Oct. 10.
ETSU and Furman have yet to meet this year, but they have a long standing rivalry with one another. The Bucs are just 1-3-2 against Furman with their only win coming last season in a 1-0 shutout at home. Joao Ramalho (Monte Santo, Brazil) scored the only goal of the game that came off a free kick just outside of the Furman box. The Paladins have been ranked several times in their history, but ETSU has fought with them twice when they were ranked 25th in the nation by tying them in 2012 and 2011.
Outside of conference play this season, the Bucs and Paladins have one opponent in common: Clemson. ETSU played better against the Tigers this year. Furman surrendered three goals while getting shutout at home, and two of the three goals came in the first 38 minutes of the game. Whereas the Bucs scored first against Clemson and led for majority of the match.
Scouting the Paladins
Furman has committed the fewest amount of fouls in the SoCon this season but have been handed the most yellow cards with 19 in 10 games. They have taken the second fewest shots per game in the SoCon with 13.60 and have the second fewest goals scored per game in the SoCon with 1.20 goals. However, the Paladins have surrendered the fewest amount of goals in the conference with 12 goals in 10 games played, but on the other hand, FU has the worst save percentage in the conference with 0.667 percent.
The Paladins have just a few shot takers this season. Five players have taken more than 10 shots this season with just two players have taken over 15 shots. Junior forward, Lewis Hawke, is one of the two biggest threats on the Furman team as he has netted three goals season, which is the most on the team. He has the most shots on the team with 23 and has a .478 shot on goal percentage, which is also one of the best on the team. The next biggest threat is junior midfielder, Eli Pinner. Pinner has taken 19 shots with seven on goal this season. He is tied for second on the team in points with five (two goals and one assist). Kevin Pahl has shown great pass placement as he is tied for third in the SoCon with three assists this season.
Senior goal keeper, Sven Lissek, is the main guy in net as he has played in nine games this season. He has one of the lowest goals against average with 0.81 goals, but his save percentage is the worst in the SoCon at 0.667. He has tallied three shutouts this season, and all three shutouts were in conference play.
VMI continues to struggle this year as they are on a 25-game losing streak that dates back to Sept. 20, 2014 when they tied Howard in Lexington, Va. The Keydets have been outscored 16-3 in conference play this year with two of the three goals scored coming against the Bucs. Since facing ETSU on Oct. 2, VMI is on a two game losing streak with a 3-1 loss to Wofford and a 7-0 loss to UNCG at home.
In the first game against VMI this season, the Bucs struggled as they found themselves down till the 85th minute. The Keydets scored back-to-back goals in the 28th and 64th minute of the game to make the score 2-1. Mitchell Cecatiello (Pascagoula, Miss.) tied the game in the 85th minute with a left footed curling shot. The Bucs and Keydets had to go to double overtime to decide a winner, and freshman, Christian Ilia (Norrkoping, Sweden), scored the game-winner right in front of the net in the 103rd minute. ETSU outshot VMI 32-4 and had their shots hit the post several times in the narrow victory.
Scouting the Keydets
VMI has several different goal scorers this season. They have five goals on the season with each goal being scored by a different player. David Harpen is the only player on VMI who has more than two points this season as he scored once and dished an assist once. He has taken eight shots with five on goal this season. As a team, VMI has attempted the fewest shots in the SoCon with 66, and they are the third to last in the nation with 5.64 shots per game. They are also the only team in the nation who hasn’t won or tied this year.
The Keydets, however, is first in the nation with the most saves per game with 7.91. They have the fewest amount of fouls committed with 11.05 fouls per game. Their goalie, Alex Guerra, has the second most playing time in the conference with 1076 minutes.
The Furman match will be played on Tuesday, Oct. 13 at 7 p.m. at Summers-Taylor Stadium. This will be the seventh match between the Paladins and the Bucs in history.
The VMI match will be on the road on Saturday, Oct. 17 at 2 p.m. at Patchin Field. This will be the sixth match between the Keydets and the Bucs in history.
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For more information on Buccaneer men’s soccer, visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the men’s soccer page.