Lady Bucs looking for back-to-back semifinal trips
JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Oct. 26, 2012) – The ETSU women’s soccer team will host a postseason game for the first time in program history on Saturday, welcoming Jacksonville to Summers-Taylor Stadium for the 2012 Atlantic Sun Championship Quarterfinals at 7 p.m.
ETSU (12-5-0, 6-3-0 A-Sun) earned the championship’s No. 4 seed by securing 18 points in league play. Jacksonville (8-6-3, 5-2-2 A-Sun) completed the regular season with 17 points, taking the No. 5 seed and earning a spot in its eighth straight conference tournament – the longest current streak in the A-Sun.
The Lady Bucs are no stranger to the A-Sun Tournament either. Saturday will mark ETSU’s seventh postseason appearance in eight years. In seven tries, the furthest the Lady Buccaneers have advanced is the semifinals, which they went to in 2011 and 2007. Saturday’s meeting with JU will be ETSU’s fourth against the Dolphins in the A-Sun Tournament, with all four of those meetings coming in the quarterfinals.
Atlantic Sun Player of the Year Ramey Kerns (Kings Mountain, N.C.) will look to make it a successful outing for the Lady Bucs. The junior striker entered the week leading the NCAA with 20 goals and 1.176 goals per game, and took home the conference’s top honor on Friday. A key part of Kerns’ individual success and ETSU’s team success has been the play of newcomer Sarah Zadrazil (St. Gilgen, Austria). With a conference-leading 10 assists, along with four goals scored, Zadrazil was named A-Sun Freshman of the Year on Friday, joining Kerns as ETSU’s two First Team All-Conference selections.
ETSU’s Last Outing
ETSU closed out the 2012 regular season in Jacksonville, Fla. last weekend against JU and North Florida. Kerns netted a late goal against the Dolphins on Friday, but the Lady Bucs did not find the equalizer after JU scored two first-half goals, falling, 2-1. Sunday was a completely different story as ETSU dismantled the Ospreys, 5-1, thanks in part to four goals from Kerns. The nation’s leading goal scorer scored three times in the first half, and added her fourth of the game just over a minute into the second stanza to tie the school record for most goals in a game. Senior Morgan Thomas (Maryville, Tenn.) added to the scoring as well, netting her third goal of the season on an assist from Kerns.
The loss on Friday took away any possibility of ETSU earning a first-round bye in the conference tournament, but the win on Sunday earned ETSU its No. 4 seed and the right to host the quarterfinal.
Scouting the Dolphins
Jacksonville went 2-0 in the final weekend of conference play, defeating both ETSU and USC Upstate at home. The two wins snapped a two-game losing streak for the Dolphins, while their four goals against the Spartans were a season high.
Marie Weckhurst heads the JU attack with five goals and three assists for a team-leading 13 points. Not far behind is Racquel Weckhurst with three goals and five assists. The Dolphins’ hottest player has been Kaitlyn Bassett, who scored three goals and added an assist last weekend, including a goal and an assist in the win over ETSU.
Jill D’Amico has played in all but one game for the Dolphins in goal. With over 1,400 minutes between the posts, D’Amico has recorded three shutouts while allowing 19 goals for a season GAA of 1.20.
ETSU and JU have met 11 times in series history, with Jacksonville holding a 6-3-2 lead. Three of those meetings have come in the A-Sun Tournament, where JU has advanced past the Lady Bucs all three times. Two of those advancements have come by way of a penalty kick shootout. The last time the two sides met in postseason play was in the 2008 tournament, which ended in a, 1-1, tie before the Dolphins won the shootout, 5-4.
Although ETSU trails the series overall, the Lady Bucs are 2-2-0 when facing the Dolphins at home. The last time the two teams met at Summers-Taylor Stadium was in 2011, when ETSU picked apart JU for three second-half goals en route to a, 3-0, victory.
Live stats will be available through Stat Broadcast on ETSUBucs.com. Free live video will also be provided on ASun.TV.
Tickets for Saturday night's 2012 A-Sun Quarterfinal are $5 for general admission and $7 for reserved seating.
Once again, fans are invited to tailgate prior to the start of the game in a specially designated area. The roped off section for soccer is located in the ETSU parking lot behind Bojangles Restaurant.
Also, free food provided by Beef ‘O’ Brady’s and Pizza Inn will be available for the first 300 fans, as well as free ETSU T-shirts. Giveaways begin at 6 p.m.
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For more information on ETSU women's soccer, please visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the women's soccer links.