Bears Set for A-Sun Championship Semi-Final against No. 1 FGCU
MACON, Ga. – The fourth-seeded Mercer men's soccer team has made its final preparations in the wake of its A-Sun Championship semi-final against top-seeded Florida Gulf Coast on Friday afternoon at 4 p.m. at Summers-Taylor Stadium.
Mercer (9-7-3) enters its match-up against FGCU playing arguably its best soccer of the season, posting a 4-1-2 record over its previous seven matches.
Scouting the Opposition
FGCU (10-5-2) enters the A-Sun Championship as the number one seed after capturing its second-straight A-Sun regular season title. 2011 marks the first time that the Eagles are Division I eligible, making Friday's game against Mercer their first-ever postseason contest. FGCU is led offensively by A-Sun All-Conference first team selection Cristian Raudales and second team member Josey Portillo who have 13 points apiece. Goalkeeper is a question mark for the Eagles entering the Championship as senior Adam Glick has been out of action for the past three weeks due to injury, forcing freshman Nathan Ingham into action over the past five games.
Last Time Out
JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. – Junior Richie Edmondson and sophomore Ryan King each scored goals late in the second half to give the Mercer men's soccer team a 2-1 victory over Lipscomb in the first round of the 2011 Atlantic Sun Championship on Wednesday evening at Summers-Taylor Stadium.
The Bears and Bisons each had 15 shots apiece in the contest, but Mercer earned a season-high 11 corner kicks due to a consistent offensive pressure that eventually wore down the Lipscomb defense.
Down 1-0 late in the second half, Mercer's offensive pressure finally paid off in the 76th minute of play in the form of Edmondson. The Montego Bay, Jamaica native collected a failed Lipscomb clearance and blasted a low shot to the left of McGee to tie the game at 1-1.
The Orange and Black kept pressing forward; sensing momentum had swung over to their side and it proved to be the right decision. Junior Josh Shutter played in a free kick service that King headed out of the air past McGee to give Mercer a 2-1 lead with just nine minutes to go in regulation.
- In the only regular season meeting between FGCU and Mercer, the Eagles came away with a 2-1 overtime victory in Fort Myers on October 7. Raudales scored the game-tying goal in the 56th minute and headed home the game-winner four minutes into the first overtime period to give FGCU the comeback win.
- With Wednesday night's win over Lipscomb, head coach Brad Ruzzo improved his all-time A-Sun Championship record up to an even 3-3 mark over his four seasons in Macon.