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Lipscomb Prepares for Mercer, A-Sun Tournament

Tuesday, November 08, 2011
by Colby Wilson

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. – The Lipscomb men’s soccer team will face No. 4 seed Mercer in the opening round of the 2011 Atlantic Sun Men’s Soccer Tournament, beginning Wednesday at 3 p.m. (CT) at Summers-Taylor Stadium.

The Bisons are coming off an extended break since ending their regular season on October 27, when they tied Mercer 1-1 and clinched Lipscomb’s A-Sun tournament spot.

Mercer has played twice since their meeting with the Bisons, defeating Belmont to secure a tournament spot and losing to Duke last week.

The Bisons and Bears have met once before in the A-Sun tournament. The Bisons defeated Mercer in the opening round of the 2008 tournament, in part thanks to a fifth-minute goal from Garret Pettis, who earned Atlantic Sun First-Team All-Conference honors Monday.

Mercer also landed a handful of players on the A-Sun’s all-conference teams. Defender Josh Shutter was named to the first team, while backline mate Joey Heavner earned second-team honors. Greg Ranjitsingh, Ashani Samuels and Carl-Oscar Andersson each earned a spot on the freshman team.

If the Bisons defeat Mercer, they will face off with No. 1 seed Florida Gulf Coast, Friday, at 3 p.m. (CT). A loss would the 2011 season for Lipscomb.  

Check LipscombSports.com for more information on the Bison soccer team, and be sure to follow us on Twitter (@LUMSoccer) and like us on Facebook (Lipscomb University Men’s Soccer Team).

Last Year at the Atlantic Sun Tournament

The Bisons advanced to the semifinals for the second year in a row. Last season, the fourth-seeded Bisons torched departing A-Sun member Campbell, 5-1, in the quarterfinals. Miguel DaSilva scored two goals and assisted on two others, while Pettis, Josh Kolbo and Angel Chairez added one apiece. Brent McGee made seven saves in net for the Bisons. The Bisons lost a heartbreaker in the semifinals to ETSU. McGee made eight saves on the way to All-Tournament honors, but ETSU’s Theo Yang one-timed a David Geno pass past McGee with just seven seconds left in the second overtime to knock the Bisons from the tournament. McGee was joined on the All-Tournament team by DaSilva.

Last Time Against Mercer

On Senior Night, the Bisons clinched a spot in the A-Sun Tournament, forcing a tie with the Bears for their 10th point in the conference standings. Pettis scored the Bisons lone goal, but it was an impressive milestone for him; the goal was Pettis’ 33rd, moving him into first place all-time in Lipscomb Division I history for goals in a career.

The Bisons Against the A-Sun Tournament Field

The Bisons went 1-3-1 against the other schools that qualified for this season’s A-Sun Tournament. Lipscomb opened the A-Sun portion of the schedule with a 2-1 victory against host and sixth-seeded ETSU, and closed it with a tie against fourth-seed Mercer. The Bisons fell to the top three seeds (Florida Gulf Coast, Stetson, Jacksonville) by a combined 7-3 score.

Historically in the Atlantic Sun Tournament

This is Lipscomb’s fifth appearance in the A-Sun Tournament. In three of the Bisons first four trips to the tournament, they’ve reached the semifinals, but have never advanced to the finals. ETSU and Jacksonville have been the bane of the Bisons, with each of those schools ending Lipscomb’s season twice (JU in 2007, ‘08, ETSU in 2009, ‘10.) Since Lipscomb joined the A-Sun in 2003, only three schools that remain in the conference have won the A-Sun tournament: Stetson (2005, 2009), Jacksonville (2008), and ETSU (2010). Florida Gulf Coast, which has won the last two A-Sun regular season titles, is in its first year of eligibility for the conference tournament.

Pettis, Barbar and Djabi Earn A-Sun Honors

Lipscomb placed three athletes on the postseason All-Conference teams, the Atlantic Sun announced Nov. 7. Pettis earned his second consecutive first team all-conference honor, marking the third time in his career he’s been on the first or second team. Sophomore Kevin Barbar, an All-Freshman selection in 2010, was named to the second team for his work on the backline. Freshman Omar Djabi was named to the All-Freshman team this time around, making him the program’s third defensive player (joining Barbar and Micah Johnson) to earn All-Freshman honors.