|November 08, 2014||1st||2nd||Final|
|LIP||64:51||Alvarado, Ivan (Kerridge, Joe )|
|LIP||68:12||Chavez, Josue (Alvarado, Ivan )|
|Stats at a Glance||LIP||JU|
|Shots (on Goal)||15 (5)||10 (2)|
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – For the first time in school history the Lipscomb men’s soccer team claimed a share of the Atlantic Sun Conference regular-season championship, courtesy of a 2-0 victory over Jacksonville Saturday night in the regular-season finale.
“It was unbelievable performance for our guy’s tonight,” Lipscomb head coach Charles Morrow said. “Jacksonville did make life difficult for us at times. They played great organized defense. It was the great passing and movement from our guys that unlocked the game.
“I couldn’t be more proud of this bunch of guys and the effort they have put forth this season. I am just happy to see them do something with our program that we’ve never done before.”
Lipscomb and FGCU share the A-Sun Championship after both recorded 13 points in league play with identical 4-1-1 records. It marks the first time in the last five season FGCU has not claimed an out-right championship. The Bisons will get the right to host the conference tournament as the No. 1 seed after beating FGCU 2-1 last weekend to hold the tiebreaker.
“I am not only happy for the players, but also for the rest of the coaching staff,” Morrow said. “Everyone just puts in so much time and energy and they don’t get their names in the headlines. Everyone involved played a hand in this championship.”
With the win the Bisons improve to 12-3-1 overall and 4-1-1 in the A-Sun. Jacksonville falls to 4-12, 1-5 in league play.
Lipscomb knew entering the match it needed only a win to claim the title.
Both teams traded shots in the first half, misfiring on all attempts.
The Bisons picked up their intensity after the break and outshot the Dolphins 12-4.
It was in the 65th minute that Jacksonville misplayed a clearing situation and the Bisons took advantage on the miscue. Freshman Ivan Alvarado punched the game-winner into the net four his fourth score of the year. Freshman Joe Kerridge collected his first-career point on the assist.
“The way Ivan has played all year, but especially of late, he is a serious candidate for Player of the Year,” Morrow said. “He is really coming into this own here late in the season and is doing very well.”
Three minutes later Lipscomb struck again, this time off the foot of Josue Chavez.
Chavez and Alvarado played a little give-and-go in the box to tack on the insurance tally. The strike was the fourth of the season for Chavez. Alvarado pushed his assist total to eight.
Freshman Nate Davis helped preserve the victory with his third shutout of the season. He collected two saves on the night and improved to 10-1-1 between the pipes. He lowered his goals against average to 1.18, the second lowest in the A-Sun.
With the win the Bisons have now won their last five matches. That is the longest streak for Lipscomb under the tenure of Morrow.
Morrow talks about what he needs to do in order to keep winning matches next week.
“The best thing I can do is stay out of the way,” Morrow said with a chuckle. “They guys are so locked in right not to what’s going on. We just have to stay focused in training.
“Our guys have been so close for so long, so hopefully next Sunday we will be having a real celebration.”
The Bisons begin their hosting duties Wednesday as seed 3-6 will commence quarterfinal action. The No. 1-seeded Purple and Gold will play in the semifinals Friday night at the Lipscomb Soccer Complex against the winner of the No. 4-No. 5 matchup on Wednesday. Additional tournament information will be released Sunday by the league officials.
- Lipscomb outshot JU 15-10, but the Dolphins held a slight 4-3 advantage in corner kicks.
- Alvarado is now tied with Luke Gearin for fourth in the A-Sun with 16 points.
- Alvarado’s eight assists are the second most in a single season in school history.
- Lipscomb now has 30 assists on the year. Six from tying the school single-season record.
- The Bisons finished second in the league with 33 goals. Stetson scored 34.
- With Alvarado and Chavez both scoring their fourth goals, the Bisons now have four players with 4-plus scores.
- The Bisons make the A-Sun tournament for the eight straight season. The longest active streak in the A-Sun.
Lipscomb will now play host to the A-Sun Championship next week as the No. 1 seed. It will play the winner of the No. 4 North Florida – No. 5 USC Upstate game. Game times have yet to be determined.
“It’s a great feeling to be able to bring the tournament atmosphere and environment to our home fans,” Morrow said. “It’s exciting because now it turns to you have to win or you go home.
“I am just happy for our guys. They came here with high expectations and we have been so close year after year. It is a great accomplishment that they now get to experience the tournament at home, but we are not done. Our sights are set much higher than just winning the regular season.”