|October 01, 2016||1st||2nd||Final|
|UNF||5:52||ROSALES, Andrey (BOLT, Jay )|
|UNF||11:10||ROSALES, Andrey (KOVACS, Milan )|
|UNF||85:19||KOVACS, Milan (CONNELL, Mikey )|
|Stats at a Glance||LIP||UNF|
|Shots (on Goal)||11 (6)||8 (5)|
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A slow first half proved to be too much to overcome for the Lipscomb men’s soccer team Saturday night in Jacksonville as the Bisons fell 3-0 to North Florida in ASUN Conference action.
The Bisons entered the match with confidence after having won three of the last four regular season meetings with UNF at Hodges Stadium, but that assurance took a big blow when the Ospreys struck twice in the first 12 minutes of action.
“It was a really frustrating game,” Lipscomb head coach Charles Morrow said. “We made an uncharacteristic mistake in the back on the first goal, allowing UNF to get some momentum. Then before we were able to regain our composure they scored again.”
After attempting just three shots in the first half, Lipscomb came out after the break and began attacking the net with some purpose.
Most of the good looks in the second half seemed to either go just off target or somehow get scooped up by the goalie, but the biggest opportunities of the night for Lipscomb came just 10 minutes apart.
Late in the period UNF was whistled for two fouls in the box, thus awarding the Bisons huge penalty kick opportunities.
Trailing 2-0 and needing any kind of score to hopefully swing the momentum, junior Ivan Alvarado stepped up and fired a shot towards the post that seemed destined for the net, but UNF’s Juanes Fajardo made a spectacular dive to get a hand on it and deny the goal.
Later in the 85th minute it was Ivan Sakou’s turn. The junior forward rocketed a shot toward the net, but once again Fajardo was there to take it away and end any threat the Bisons tried to mount.
UNF responded with an insurance tally less than one minute later to shut the door.
“Tonight was disappointing for sure, but if you take away that five minute spell in the first half I thought we really did do a solid job. Because as big as the hole was that we dug ourselves, we still had a chance to get out of there win a win.
“We created a ton of chances in the second half, but we just couldn’t convert any of them, which makes this loss disheartening. Every point in conference play is important.”
Saturday’s match was the final leg of a three-game road trip that saw the Bisons make two trips to Jacksonville and one to Louisville, Kentucky in a span of eight days. However, Coach Morrow does not believe traveling nearly 1,400 miles played any part in the defeat.
“If you are looking for an excuse you can just about find one anywhere,” Morrow said. “But I don’t buy into that and neither do our players. Traveling is part of the game. We had time to rest. We just have to be better than that.”
Lipscomb falls to 5-4-1 overall and 1-2 in conference play, while UNF improves to 5-3-1 and 1-0.
UNF – The Ospreys struck in the sixth minute when Andrey Rosales received a long ball from Jay Bolt across midfield and used his speed to beat the Lipscomb defenders before slipping a shot past the keeper for a 1-0 UNF lead.
UNF – In the blink of an eye North Florida doubled its lead with another score in the 12th minute. Milan Kovacs fired a shot from the top of the box that Lipscomb’s Micah Bledsoe stopped, but could not hold on to. Rosales ran inside the 6-yard box and cleaned up the rebound with his second goal of the match.
UNF – The Ospreys put the game away in the 86th minute when Kovacs finished off a cross from Mikey Connell for his team-leading fifth goal of the year.
- Lipscomb trails the all-time series 8-5-1 and has now lost four straight matches against the Ospreys.
- The first two goals allowed were the first scores conceded in the opening 45 minutes of play this season. The Bisons entered the match outscoring the opponent 6-0 before half time.
- The loss was just the second time this season the Bisons have been shutout.
- Lipscomb outshot UNF 11-8, including a 6-5 advantage in shots on goal.
- Corner kicks were controlled by Lipscomb 6-1. UNF’s corner came in the 82nd
- Ivan Sakou paced Lipscomb with three shots on goal.
- The goals were the first and second of the season for Rosales.
- Micah Bledsoe made two stops in net for the purple and gold.
Lipscomb returns home after a three-game road swing to host UAB at the Lipscomb Soccer Complex on Wednesday, October 5th. The match is scheduled to get under way at 5 p.m.
“We are looking forward to being back home for sure,” Morrow said. “We want to get back out and get this bad taste out of our mouths after dropping two in a row in conference play.
“Thankfully we get the next three at home in front of our own fans, including a conference matchup with USC Upstate.”