Mercer Set to Host USC Upstate and ETSU in Pivotal Conference Tilts
MACON, Ga. – The Mercer men's soccer team returns to Atlantic Sun Conference play this week with a pair of very important home games against USC Upstate and East Tennessee State at Bear Field.
Mercer (6-6-1, 1-3-0 A-Sun) currently sits in eighth place in the A-Sun Conference standings, with three points, but has a chance to make a statement against USC Upstate and ETSU, both of whom sit just ahead of the Bears in the league rankings with seven points apiece.
Mercer faces off against USC Upstate on Coaches vs. Cancer night on Wednesday evening at 7 p.m. and takes ETSU on Saturday night at 7 p.m. which will double as Senior Night for defenders Phil Thoren and Ryan Young.
Scouting the Opposition
USC Upstate (5-7-1, 2-3-1 A-Sun) is in the middle of its most successful season since joining the A-Sun Conference in 2007. The Spartans enter Wednesday night's contest on a two-match losing streak, however, after most recently dropping a tough 3-2 overtime decision to Stetson on October 16. USC Upstate is led on the offensive side of the ball by junior forward Dylan Hoop, who has nine points on four goals and one assist. Senior goalkeeper Jason McCabe ranks as one of the best net minders in the A-Sun, pacing the league with 77 saves and a .819 save percentage.
ETSU (8-4-2, 2-3-1 A-Sun) enters this week's action debuting as the No. 61 in the NCAA Division I Ratings Percentage Index (RPI). The Buccaneers are coming off arguably their most important and impressive win of the season, a 2-1 home win against Florida Gulf Coast on October 16. ETSU is paced up front by the two-headed monster of senior Aaron Schoenfeld and sophomore David Geno. Schoenfeld leads the squad with 15 points (6 g, 3 a) while Geno is right on his heels with 14 points (6 g, 2 a). The Buccaneers are also very stout on defense, leading the A-Sun Conference with seven shutouts and 1.08 goals allowed per game average.
Last Time Out
MACON, Ga. – The Mercer men's soccer team showed its resolve after two tough overtime losses in a row with a dominant performance in a 1-0 win over Central Arkansas on Saturday afternoon at Bear Field.
The Bears wasted no time getting on the board first, in just the fifth minute of the contest, when junior Will Betts collected a pass from freshman Carl-Oscar Andersson in the box and hammered home his shot to give the home team an early 1-0 lead. The goal for Betts is his team leading fifth of the season.
Freshman goalkeeper Greg Ranjitsingh made three saves in the win to record his fifth shutout of the season while UCA goalkeeper Paxti Shortsleeve made eight saves in the loss.
- The NCAA Division I Ratings Percentage Index (RPI) opened up on Tuesday morning and the A-Sun Conference has six teams ranked in the top-140. FGCU (No. 41) leads the way, followed by ETSU (No. 61), Jacksonville (No. 90), Stetson (No. 124), Mercer (No. 132) and Belmont (No. 137).