|November 10, 2016||1st||2nd||Final|
|ETSU||3:53||Joao Ramalho (Fletcher Ekern )|
|ETSU||48:33||Serge Gomis (Joao Ramalho )|
|ETSU||55:38||Javier Alberto (Cameron Woodfin )|
|UNCG||84:17||Ethan Wells (Damieon Thomas , Matt Mattis)|
|Stats at a Glance||ETSU||UNCG|
|Shots (on Goal)||13 (8)||21 (9)|
JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Nov. 9, 2016) – Without having to play a match in over a week, the ETSU men’s soccer team is rested and ready to square off against UNCG in the Southern Conference Tournament Semifinals at UNCG Soccer Stadium on Thursday, Nov. 10 at 3:30 p.m.
For the third straight year, ETSU has met UNCG in the SoCon Tournament. In 2014, the Spartans nipped the Bucs in the first round, 2-1, in double overtime, but ETSU rebounded in 2015 by winning in penalty kicks last year in the SoCon semifinals at Summers-Taylor Stadium. This is only the third time ETSU has received a bye into the semifinal match (two in the Atlantic Sun and this season in the SoCon.
About the Bucs
Winners of six of the previous seven matches, the Bucs look to carry their unbeaten streak into Greensboro on Thursday. The Bucs completed the improbable by coming back twice in the regular season finale at Mercer to claim the 2016 Regular Season SoCon title for the first time ever.
Since making history, ETSU had several players recognized from a national and conference level. Joao Ramalho (Monte Santo, Brazil) netted the second game-tying goal and the game-winner that gave the Bucs the win at Mercer. For his two-goal performance, he was a member of two national teams of the week from TopDrawerSoccer.com and College Soccer News. He was also tabbed SoCon Player of the Week. Fletcher Ekern (Knoxville, Tenn.) earned SoCon Player of the Month for October for his performance. In the nine games that month, he recorded eight of his nine goals including netting seven goals in a span of four games. He led the Bucs to a 7-1-1 record to close out the regular season.
Announced Tuesday by the league office, ETSU claimed nine All-Conference members: four First Team, three Second Team and two Freshman Team members. On top of earning the most All-Conference awards in the conference, the Bucs had three individual honors: Coach of the Year (Bo Oshoniyi), Goalkeeper of the Year (Jonny Sutherland) and Freshman of the Year (Joe Pickering).
In the last six matches, ETSU has scored 14 goals and only conceded four goals. In that stretch, three Buccaneers have netted multiple goals: Ekern, Ramalho, and Joe Pickering (East Sussex, England). Junior midfielder Cameron Woodfin (Old Hickory, Tenn.) led the team with seven assists (1.17 assists per game) while also scoring a goal at VMI. In that same stretch, ETSU pitched three shutouts including a 1-0 victory at home over UNCG.
Jonny Sutherland (Chester, U.K.) showed why he was the SoCon Goalkeeper of the Year as he posted a 0.70 goals against average along with a 0.833 save percentage in conference play. Centrebacks Chase Clack (Memphis, Tenn.) and Pickering each received postseason awards and contributed, along with the outside backs, to the five shutouts in conference play.
The Bucs swept the Spartans during the regular season including defeating UNCG 4-3 in overtime at UNCG Soccer Stadium. ETSU and UNCG is tied 4-4-3 all-time including seven of the 11 matches going into overtime.
The last time these two teams met in the postseason was last year in the SoCon Tournament in Johnson City. The Bucs fended off the Spartan attack through two overtime periods and won in nine penalty shootouts to advance to the SoCon Championship.
UNCG advanced to the semifinals this season by defeating No. 5 Furman in Greensboro. Junior defender Eric Gunnarsson scored the game-winner over the Paladins when he put a shot on goal and the ball trickled past the Furman goalie.
The Spartans put a pair of players, Damieon Thomas and Leeroy Maguraushe, on the All-Conference First Team. Gunnarsson was selected for Second Team, and Casey Penland earned a spot on the All-Freshman Team.
Thomas leads the team in goals (8) and assists (7). He has accumulated 23 points while posting a team-best 56 shots. Maguraushe and Matteo Busio each have six assists, and Alexander Lewis is second on the squad with five goals.
Logan Rohde has started in 17 matches and has pitched six shutouts including three in the Southern Conference. He totes a 1.07 goals against average and sports a .689 save percentage. He has a 10-5-2 record and has made 42 saves on the year.
As a team, UNCG out-scores the opposition 37-22 and out-shoots opponents 311-186. However, in the last match ETSU out-shot the Spartans 12-10 including holding UNCG to one shot in the first half. The Spartans average 1.95 goals per game and allow just 1.16 goals per game.
How to follow the match
Thursday’s match will be streamed online and can be viewed by clicking here via the SoCon Digital Network. Live stats can be followed here. For behind the scenes action on the road, follow ETSUMSoccer on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
ETSU fans wanting to receive Buccaneer news, score updates, in-game promotions and much more sent to their mobile device can do so by signing up for “Buc Updates.” Click here to sign up today!
For more information on Buccaneer men’s soccer, visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the men’s soccer page.