|November 09, 2018||1st||2nd||1OT||Final|
|FUR||46:53||Miles Fenton (Conor Sloan )|
|FUR||97:37||Laurence Wyke (Rocky Guerra )|
|Stats at a Glance||FUR||ETSU|
|Shots (on Goal)||9 (3)||8 (4)|
JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Nov. 8, 2018) – With two weeks away from the pitch, the second-seeded ETSU men’s soccer team will enter Southern Conference tournament play this weekend, clashing with No. 3 Furman on Friday at 6 p.m. at Summers-Taylor Stadium.
The winner of tomorrow’s nightcap between ETSU and Furman will advance to the Southern Conference Championship final on Sunday at 1 p.m. The other semifinal game takes place at 3:30 p.m. Friday between No. 1 Mercer and No. 5 UNCG.
Both games on Friday will be streamed on the SoCon Digital Network. Sunday’s final will be an ESPN+ production. Live stats will be available for all three games via StatBroadcast.
Live Stats: https://bit.ly/2zBIoT6
Game Notes: https://bit.ly/2DaFoQJ
ETSU Tournament History
Since entering the SoCon in 2014, ETSU holds a 2-2-3 outright record with three of its games being decided in penalty kicks. The last two seasons ended in penalty kick losses to Mercer, while ETSU’s lone win in PK’s came in the 2015 semifinals against UNCG.
ETSU has been to the SoCon semifinal in all but one season, 2014, and will look to enter its third championship game in five seasons.
The Bucs have never won a Southern Conference tournament championship in men’s soccer, but did bring home the hardware in its final year in the Atlantic Sun conference with a 3-1 win over North Florida in 2013.
Surprisingly, ETSU and Furman have only encountered each other once in SoCon tournament play. The lone contest was for all the marbles in Johnson City, with Furman edging the Bucs 1-0 in the 2015 SoCon Championship final.
Last Time Out
Two weeks ago, ETSU closed the regular season with all the momentum, as the Bucs took down top-seeded Mercer in Macon, Ga. by a 2-1 final. Mercer was previously undefeated in conference contests before encountering the Bucs.
In the win, redshirt-junior John Lucchesi (Johnson City, Tenn.) gave ETSU early momentum with a third-minute goal. Mercer would tie it up in the 37th minute, breaking even before the half.
The Bucs regained the lead in the second half thanks to senior Cameron Woodfin (Old Hickory, Tenn.) nailing the game-winning goal in the 50th minute. Woodfin earned SoCon Player of the Week honors for this performance, taking five shots with three on target.
Mercer attempted one last desperation push in the final seconds, but goalkeeper Josh Perryman (Sheffield, England) fought off the first attempt with a diving save before the ETSU defense stopped the second shot from rolling through during the 10 second countdown.
With ETSU’s win and Furman’s loss to UNCG that Saturday, the Bucs moved into second place in the standings and secured the No. 2 seed and double-bye, automatically advancing to the semifinal. Furman fell to No. 3 and would have to host a quarterfinal game, which it won over Belmont, 4-2.
Furman finished the regular season 10-6-1 and 4-2 in SoCon play, owning losses to Mercer and UNCG. The physical Paladin defense leads the conference with a 1.06 goals allowed per game mark and are second to Mercer in nearly every offensive category.
The Paladins matched ETSU with seven all-conference selections in 2018, including redshirt-sophomore goalkeeper Ben Hale winning Goalkeeper of the Year for the first time. Hale has 59 saves with only 19 goals allowed for a 1.09 goals against average and a .756 save percentage. Hale also leads the SoCon with six shutouts.
Along with Hale, senior Laurence Wyke was also named to the first team, while three Paladins earned second team honors. Emery May was one of those second team honorees, leading the team with seven goals. Wyke has six goals. Two freshmen, Miles Fenton and Jacob Garzon, garnered SoCon all-freshman accolades.
History favors Furman as the Paladins lead the all-time series 6-2-6, including this season’s 2-0 win in Johnson City. The Furman win was the first decision either way since 2015, with four straight contests ending in draws prior to this season. Three of the four draws were double-shutouts.
ETSU’s last win over Furman came on Oct. 23, 2015 in Greenville, S.C by a final of 2-0. The Bucs’ only win over Furman in Johnson City came in 2014 — a 1-0 shutout.
Redshirt-junior forward Luke Parker (Memphis, Tenn.) is the only current Buccaneer to ever score a goal against Furman, as this series has proven to be a defensive struggle in recent seasons.
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