JACKSONVILLE, Fla. –In an Atlantic Sun Conference defensive battle, the Lipscomb men’s soccer team fought off a pesky North Florida second-half rally to escape Hodges Stadium with a 1-0 win Saturday night and they picked up a much needed three points in the process.
“I am happy with our guy’s effort even though we didn’t play our best game tonight,” Lipscomb coach Charles Morrow said. “Road wins don’t come easy in this conference so it is just a credit our guys focus and hard work throughout the entire game.”
Lipscomb wasted little time putting pressure on a UNF defense that was coming off consecutive shutouts, and created the game's first three shot attempts in an 11-minute stretch, but the Bisons misfired on all attempts
After the break UNF picked up the tempo and began flip the script on the Bisons. The Ospreys dominated the final 45 mintues, churning out 12 shot attempts to Lipscomb's one.
But as it turned out, that lone second-half shot was all the Bisons needed.
“We dodged our fair share of bullets in the second half,” Morrow said. “We weren’t creating enough opportunities with the progression we had and then the game just flipped on us.
“UNF pushed its tempo and they made life a little unnerving at times for us. But I thought we played much smarter after our goal."
In the 56th minute redshirt junior Matt Kerridge slipped a pass to junior Reece Holcombe who made a run to beat the UNF defense and placed a shot past the keeper to give the Bisons a 1-0 lead.
“Reece got behind the defense and the keeper came out so he just had to put it past him,” Morrow said. “The ball actually went through a hole in the net and no one was sure what happened, except Reece. He was over there celebrating by himself.
“He plays summer ball with some of the guys on UNF’s team so he really wanted to perform well and I was glad to see him get the game-winner.”
The strike was Holcombe’s second of the year.
UNF’s best chance for an equalizer came in the 66th minute when the Ospreys fired three shots from just in front of the net before Camilo Garcia banged a header off the left post and Lipscomb escaped the sequence unscathed.
Freshman goalkeeper Nate Davis came up with a couple of big saves down the stretch to preserve the win for the Purple and Gold, including a point-blank header from three yards out.
Davis improved to 6-1-1 in the net for Lipscomb and collected three saves on the night.
“Nate (Davis) played well tonight and came up with some big stops for us,” Morrow said. “His performance tonight should certainly be considered for defensive player of the week.”
Lipscomb improves to 8-3-1 overall and 2-1-1 in the Atlantic Sun. UNF suffers its first home loss of the season and falls to 5-5 overall and 2-2 in league play.
- Lipscomb improves to 5-4-1 in the all-time series with UNF, and have won four of the last five.
- The shutout was Lipscomb’s third of the season.
- Holcombe’s strike halted a 242 minute shutout streak for UNF. It was the first score the Ospreys allowed in the month of October.
- UNF outshot Lipscomb 15-6 and held a 6-2 advantage in corner kicks.
- Matt Kerridge now has two assists in 2014. He led the A-Sun last season with 5.
- Holcombe became the sixth Bison to score 2-plus goals this season.
- Lipscomb is currently third in the A-Sun standings with seven points. FGCU and Stetson each lead with nine.
The Bisons step out of league play to finish up a two-game road trip at Central Arkansas Tuesday Oct. 21. The match is set for a 5 p.m. kickoff in Conway, Arkansas.
“We need to build some momentum off of this and go take care of business against Central Arkansas next week,” Morrow said. “Road wins can give our guys the confidence they may have been lacking lately. Now they believe they should win, so all we have to do it take care of business from here on out.”