Bears Ready for Semi-Finals of A-Sun Championship
MACON, Ga. – The Mercer women's soccer team finishes up a week of preparation today in Ft. Myers, Fla. for Friday's semi-final match of the 2011 Atlantic Sun Championships against No. 2 East Tennessee St. Kick-off for tomorrow's match is set for 4 p.m. at the Florida Gulf Coast Soccer Complex.
The No. 6 Bears advanced to their fourth semi-finals in the last five years by taking out No. 3 Jacksonville last week in penalty kicks. Mercer's Casey Barrett scored a second-half goal to tie the game up and then the Bears were able to net four of their five penalty kick attempts to knock out the Dolphins for the second year in a row.
Mercer and ETSU met just two weeks ago in the regular season finale, with ETSU taking a tough 2-1 victory in Johnson City, Tenn. Mercer senior Olivia Tucker scored in that game to give her a team-high nine goals on the year.
The Lady Bucs have put together a remarkable season, going 12-4-1 to finished as co-champions of the conference with a 7-1-1 A-Sun record. This is ETSU's highest tournament seed in program history, with the team's lone tournament win coming in 2007 over Stetson.
This will be the first-ever meeting between Mercer and ETSU in the conference tournament with Mercer holding a 4-2-1 overall record against the Lady Bucs. ETSU is 1-2-3 all-time in the A-Sun Championships while Mercer has improved its overall record to 3-3-6.
SCOUTING THE OPPOSITION
The Lady Bucs lead the A-Sun with 43 goals this season; eight better than the next closest team FGCU. ETSU averages 2.53 goals per game and is has the 13th ranked scoring offense in the country.
ETSU also has two players atop the A-Sun in goals in Jenna Caudle and Genna Petersen. Each has racked up double-digit goals with Petersen netting 11 and Caudle with 10. Petersen is also the conference leader in points with 27 and she is also the nation's 37th best scorer.
In goal for the Lady Bucs is Caitlin Gaughan who has started and played in all 17 matches. She carries the conference's fourth-best save percentage (.800) with 76 saves to her credit.