Bears Now Control Own Postseason Destiny With 1-0 Win at Upstate
SPARTANGBURG, S.C. – Mercer freshman forward Washida Blackman scored her second-straight game-winner and simultaneously greatly improved the Bears postseason hopes as the Bears took a 1-0 shutout at USC Upstate on Friday night.
With the win, a Stetson loss and Kennesaw St. tie on Friday night, the Bears now maintain sole possession of the sixth and final spot to qualify for the Atlantic Sun Tournament. Mercer now controls its own postseason destiny. With either a win or a tie in its final regular season match at ETSU on Sunday, the Bears will qualify for their sixth-straight A-Sun Tournament.
"Overall we had a very good performance tonight," head coach Grant Serafy said. "However, we have to put it behind us because the only game that really matters at this point is Sunday's."
Mercer improved to 9-6-1 (3-4-1 A-Sun) with the victory while USC-Upstate dropped to 2-14-1 (0-8-0, A-Sun).
Blackman's fourth goal of the season came in the 20th minute when sophomore Casey Barrett lobbed a service inside the box which Blackman was able to put over the head of Upstate's keeper. From there, an impressive Mercer defensive performance was all the team needed to secure its second-straight win.
Sophomore keeper Nikki Atkinson recorded her fourth-straight start and second win of the season as she dealt with just two Upstate shots on the night. The Bears defense returned to form on Friday night allowing just the two shots and once again shutting out an outmatched Upstate team. Each of the Bears nine wins this season have come by way of shutout.
In fact, MU was able to hold Upstate to zero shots in the second half. On the offensive side of the ball, the Bears also held decisive advantage, outshooting the Spartans 17-2. Five Bears had multiple shots on the night, as Emerald Phillips led all players with four.
Mercer finishes out the 2011 regular season on Sunday at ETSU. Kick-off for Sunday's match is scheduled for 1 p.m.