Mercer Begins Conference Play at USC Upstate and ETSU
MACON, Ga. – The Mercer men's soccer team starts its Atlantic Sun Conference schedule this weekend with road matches against USC Upstate and ETSU.
Mercer will face off against USC Upstate first on Thursday, Sept. 30 at 7 p.m. before traveling to Johnson City, Tenn. to take on ETSU on Saturday, Oct. 2 at 7 p.m.
The Orange and Black extended their conference-high unbeaten streak to five games with a gritty 2-1 comeback road win over VMI on Sept. 24. After VMI scored to take an early 1-0 lead, Mercer roared back with two goals in the next 13 minutes of play. Senior Ian Cameron scored his team-high third goal of the season to tie the game and freshman Ryan King buried the game-winner to give Mercer the 2-1 win.
Scouting the Opposition
USC Upstate enters play this weekend with a 1-3-3 record after
most recently playing Furman to a 0-0 draw on Sept. 25. The
Spartans were picked to finish 10th in the 2010 Atlantic
Sun Preseason Coaches' poll after returning 13 letterwinners from a
5-9-3 2009 squad. Senior Maurice Beggs and junior Hakeem King pace
the Upstate offense with two goals apiece. Senior goalkeeper Jason
McCabe starts in-between the posts for the Spartans and ranks tied
for second in the A-Sun with two shutouts and fifth in the league
with 27 saves.
ETSU has had a brilliant start to its 2010 campaign, going 5-2 thus far with wins over ACC member Clemson and Conference USA power Marshall. The Bucs strong start has not gone unnoticed as they are ranked eighth in the South region in the latest NSCAA/HendricksCars.com Regional Rankings. ETSU has done most its damage this season at home, going 3-0-0 at Summers-Taylor Soccer Stadium. A-Sun Preseason All-Conference selection Aaron Schoenfeld leads the Bucs attack with eight points on three goals and two assists.
- Mercer begins its Atlantic Sun Conference schedule this weekend. The opening weekend of conference play has been good to the Bears during head coach Brad Ruzzo's tenure. In his first two opening weekends of conference play, the Orange and Black are 3-0-1. Mercer defeated FGCU and tied Stetson in 2008; and went on the road to earn wins over Belmont and Lipscomb in 2009.
- The Bears posted some impressive rankings in the newest NCAA Division I Men's Soccer Statistics. Mercer has the 21st best winning percentage (.750) and the 27th ranked scoring offense (2.00 goals per game) in the country. Individually, senior Ian Cameron ranks 54th in points per game (1.4) while sophomore Brett Petricek checks in with the 47th best goals against average (.831) in the nation.
- The Orange and Black are currently off to their best start in nine years, posting a 4-1-1 record in their first six games. A big reason for the Bears recent success has been their defense, which has held four of their six opponents in 2010 to one goal or less.