Weather pushes back start of Atlantic Sun tournament

Mother Nature strikes again, as rain has pushed back the A-Sun tournament semifinals and finals, set for this weekend in Buies Creek…

The Atlantic Sun Men’s Soccer Championship shifts to Buies Creek and the Eakes Athletic Complex for Friday’s semifinals and Saturday’s final.

The match between Mercer and Campbell, originally schedule for a 7 p.m. start on Thursday, will now be played at noon on Friday. Stetson and ETSU meet in the second semifinal at 3 p.m. The Championship Final will be played no earlier than 6 p.m. on Saturday.

Stetson enters the 2009 A-Sun Championship holding the nation’s 13th-best winning percentage with a record of 12-3-2 and a conference mark of mark of 6-2-1. The Hatters finished the 2009 regular season boasting only one non-conference loss to No. 2 ranked North Carolina. Stetson opened the 2009 campaign going unbeaten in its first eight matches. The Hatters struggled down the stretch with three wins in their final six matches and they failed to score in two of those games.

Griffin Gilstrap leads the Hatters offensively with a conference-best nine goals and 22 points. Stetson sits first in the conference in points and goals with three players ranked in the conference’s top five in points. The Hatters’ trio of Gilstrap, Kevin Munz and Fredrik Brustad each racked up 16 or more points on the season. The three Stetson forwards combined for 58 points during the regular season more than three-teams in the conference including championship qualifiers Lipscomb and UNF.

2009 A-Sun Defensive Player of the Year Robert Hodge leads the Hatters defense that tied for a conference-best six shutouts on the season. Logan Potter started all 17 games in net for Stetson during the regular season posting 1.34 goals-against average and a .777 save percentage. Stetson meets ETSU in the second of two semifinals at 3:00 p.m. Friday. Brustad scored early in the first half of the regular season match between the two schools to give the Hatters a 1-0 win against ETSU. Potter made six saves in net and made the goal stand up.

ETSU earned its spot in the semifinals with a 3-0 win against Lipscomb on Thursday. Aaron Schoenfeld and Andrew Brown found the net for the Bucs but a Lipscomb own goal in the 19th minute proved to be the game winner. The Bucs earned their first-ever berth into the Atlantic Sun Men’s Soccer Conference Championship after putting together a 6-8-3 record and a mark of 4-4-1 in conference play.

The Bucs picked up the No. 3 seed and hosted Lipscomb in a first round matchup. ETSU fell 1-0 to Stetson during the regular season in Johnson City, Tenn. ETSU started the season slow with only one win in its first 10 matches. The Bucs closed the regular season with four wins in their final six games. Sean Hoek leads the Bucs offensively with 11 points on the season including leading the squad in goals with five. Scott Rosman, who earned a shutout against Lipscomb, leads ETSU in net with a conference-best 1.17 goals-against average.

Campbell picked up the 2009 Atlantic Sun Regular-Season Conference title and will serve as host for the Atlantic Sun Championship after reaching the A-Sun Championship final in three of the last four seasons. It ranks as the third time the Camels have hosted the conference championship. Campbell also hosted the championship a season ago and in 2000. The Camels enter the championship with an overall record of 8-9-1 and an A-Sun mark of 7-1-1.

Campbell holds only two losses to A-Sun foes in the last two seasons with none coming against teams in the 2009 A-Sun Championship. The Camels went 1-8-0 with one of toughest non-conference schedules in the country. Campbell took on three teams ranked in the RPI top 12. The Camels boasted the nation’s longest regular-season conference unbeaten streak before falling to FGCU on Oct. 24. Vince Petrasso leads the Camels offensively with 18 points and earned the 2009 Player of the Year honors. Petrasso’s 10 assists rank tied for fourth nationally and he sits tied for fourth in the nation in assists per game.

Five different Camels have scored four or more goals on the season led by Mitchell Cardenas with five. Both Ryan Amons and Ted Awanda have seen action in net for the Camels with Awana seeing a majority of the time. Awanda holds 2.23 goals-against average and a .663 save percentage with three shutouts and a 6-7-0 record on the season entering the championship. The Camels knocked off the Bears 1-0 during the regular season in Macon, Ga. The two teams played even for 83 and half minutes before Cardenas found the net from a Brian Urioste cross.

Ryan Young found the net late in the first half and early in the second half as Mercer knocked off UNF and earned a trip to the A-Sun Championship semifinal. Ian Cameron assited on both of Young’s goals and Will Betts added a third in the 58th minute as the Bears cruised past the Ospreys in Jacksonville. Mercer entered the 2009 Atlantic Sun Championship with an overall record of 5-10-2 and conference record of 4-5-0. The Bears struggled in non-conference play going 1-4-2 against non-league foes. Mercer turned things around in conference play posting three consecutive wins to open A-Sun action.

The Bears knocked off Belmont, Lipscomb and ETSU to open league play by a combined score of 7-1. Following the three-game winning streak, Mercer accumulated only one win in its final seven games. Ian Cameron leads the Bears offensively with 13 points including six goals during the regular season. Freshman Brett Petricek leads Mercer in net holding opponents to a 1.35 goals-against average while registering a .798 save percentage and three shutouts. During the Bears’ regular season meeting with the Camels, Petricek made six save for Mercer and saw 13 shots and 13 corner kick from Campbell.

Fans can follow the Atlantic Sun on Twitter and on Facebook. Visit twitter.com/AtlanticSun to begin receiving updates on conference news, weekly awards, and from A-Sun championships. Atlantic Sun followers with a Facebook account can become a “fan” of the conference by searching for the Atlantic Sun Conference.

The Atlantic Sun Conference is an 11-member league committed to Building Winners for Life. The A-Sun stands for achievement with integrity in both the academic and athletic arenas, with a focus on the balance between the two for our student-athletes.

Headquartered in Macon, Ga., the A-Sun boasts six of the top eight media markets in the Southeast. The A-Sun includes a blend of the most prestigious and dynamic private and public institutions in the region: Belmont University, Campbell University, East Tennessee State University, Florida Gulf Coast University, Jacksonville University, Kennesaw State University, Lipscomb University, Mercer University, University of North Florida, University of South Carolina Upstate and Stetson University.

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2 Responses to “Weather pushes back start of Atlantic Sun tournament”

  1. Randy Capps Says:

    The games are at 2 and 5 p.m. today.

  2. hssoccerfan Says:

    Some great matches nearby this weekend worth going to see in the D1 tourney quarterfinals. Friday (12/4) at 7pm UNC-CH hosts a surprise Drake team that knocked out the favored ACC Boston College team 6-4 (now that’s putting the ball in the back of the net) this past weekend. Sat. (12/5) Wake Forest hosts Virginia in an ACC grudge match starting at 4pm. Wake beat Duke and Viriginia sent packing. this past weekend as well. Winners advance to the final four, to also be played in NC at the terriffic Wake Med Soccer Complex in Cary next weekend.

    Some of our local high school players will be there in the stand watching as they compete the same weekend at the CASL Showcase (one of the countries premiere soccer showcases for collegee coaches to see the many of the best players in club soccer compete). Specifically the Sandhills Celtic ’91 team, featuring players from Pinecrest (10), Terry Sanford (3), Jack Britt (2), Pine
    Forest (1), and Lee Sr. (1) High Schools will be there and face off against very strong club teams from Florida and Georgia Friday and Saturday. Several of the local players have aspirations of playing college soccer and are being actively recruit by a number of regional college teams.

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