JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Postseason play begins for Lipscomb Men’s Soccer Saturday, as it will seek to earn its first trip to the Atlantic Sun Tournament championship match in school history when the third-seeded Bisons take on host and No. 2 seed, North Florida at 6 p.m. inside Hodges Stadium.
Saturday’s meeting will mark the second straight season Lipscomb and UNF have met in the A-Sun semifinals.Last year in Nashville, North Florida upset the top-seeded Bisons, 3-0, with all three scores coming in the first 25 minutes of action.
The Ospreys claimed a share of the A-Sun Regular Season Championship for the first time in school history after going 4-0-1 in league play. They shared it with Florida Gulf Coast after the two teams played to a 1-1 draw, but because of a goal-differential tiebreaker, FGCU was awarded the top seed.
Lipscomb (6-9-1, 3-2-0)
North Florida (8-6-1, 4-0-1)
LAST TIME OUT
Lipscomb closed the regular season last Saturday with a 3-0 road win at Stetson to clinch the No. 3 seed. After playing nil in the first half, the Bisons got goals from Logan Paynter (64’), Kyle Smith (73’) and Ivan Alvarado (78’) in the final 45 minutes of action.
The win was a milestone for head coach Charles Morrow who picked up his 100th career victory.
Led by A-Sun Co-Coach of the Year, Derek Marinatos, the Ospreys enter the semifinal matchup as winners in three of their last four games.
Helge Pietschmann, a two-time first team all-conference selection, paces UNF’s offensive attack with a team-leading four goals. Second team all-conference member Milan Kovacs has also scored four times.
Alex Morrell and Simen Solstad, tied for second in the league, have a team best four assists each.
Goalkeeper Kyle Nasta sports an 8-5-1 mark between the pipes. In 14 starts, the 2014 A-Sun Goalkeeper of the Year, has four clean sheets, the second most in the league. He has allowed 23 goals and carries a 1.60 GAA. His 40 saves are third most in the conference, behind Micah Bledsoe’s 55 and Paul Ladwig’s 67.
Lipscomb trails the all-time series with UNF 6-5-1, dating back to 2005. However, the Bisons have played well in Jacksonville, winning three of the last four meetings, and hold a 3-2 advantage.
The Ospreys have won the last two matchups between the schools, including a 3-0 triumph in Nashville last month.
When the A-Sun announced the 2015 Men’s Soccer All-Conference team this past Wednesday, the Lipscomb Bisons were heavily recognized with six players earning postseason honors.
Redshirt freshman Logan Paynter made his postseason awards debut with a first-team selection, while sophomore Ivan Alvarado landed first-team honors for the second straight season.
Senior Anthony Cedano, senior Matt Kerridge and sophomore Joe Kerridge earned All-Conference second team selections, while Paynter and Cole Brown were named to the All-Freshman team.
- Lipscomb is led offensively by Paynter’s six goals. Alvarado and Matt Kerridge follow with four apiece.
- Alvarado finished the year second in the league with four assists.
- The Bisons have placed a league-best 86 shots on target in 183 shot attempts. Their 75 corner kicks are second in the A-Sun.
- Lipscomb will look to snap its semifinal voodoo Saturday. The Bisons have fallen victim in the semis six times in the last eight seasons.
With a win on Saturday, the Bisons will advance to the tournament final on Saturday, Nov. 14, and will face the winner of No. 1 Florida Gulf Coast and No. 4 USC Upstate. The championship site will be located at the highest-remaining seed.
A loss to UNF will end Lipscomb’s season.