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11/13/2013 | Fort Myers, Fla. | Attendance: 0
Tuesday, November 12, 2013
FORT MYERS, Fla. – After a successful year on the field the Lipscomb men’s soccer team was awarded the No. 3 seed in the Atlantic Sun Conference tournament and will begin its quest for a championship Tuesday in Fort Myers, Fla. when the Bisons battle the Dolphins of Jacksonville at 3 p.m. CST.
Lipscomb ended the regular season with an 8-8-2 overall and 4-3-1 conference record and will be making its seventh consecutive appearance in the tournament. That is the longest active streak in the A-Sun.
The Bisons will bring plenty of hardware into the first round matchup after claiming seven different all-conference awards on Monday, including Charles Morrow winning Coach of the Year and Omar Djabi winning Player of the Year. None of that will matter if they can’t back it up versus the No. 6 seed Dolphins.
“Jacksonville is a much better team than its record shows,” Morrow said. “We will have to be on top of our game if we want to advance to the next round and compete for the championship.
Djabi leads the Bisons and the A-Sun with nine goals, two more than any other player, and 21 total points.
In the previous matchup with JU on Oct. 11, Djabi scored twice and Matt Kerridge added two assists to route the Dolphins 4-1 in front of a home crowd in Nashville.
The four scores were the most goals the Bisons had scored since a 5-0 victory over North Florida on Oct. 16, 2011. Lipscomb outshot JU 17-10 and managed to put 10 on frame.
Jacksonville closed the regular season with a 4-10-3 overall and 2-4-2 A-Sun record, but finished just 1-7 away from home with the lone win coming at Mercer, 2-1 on Oct. 13.
The Dolphins are led offensively by A-Sun second team all-conference pick Matheus Saroli’s four goals, two assists and 10 points. Saroli only played in 11 games all season.
Marc Meny and Gavin Carlin have spit time in goal with Meny getting the majority with 10 starts. In 937 minutes of play, Meny saved 45 shots while giving up 15 scores. He has a .750 save percentage and is credited with two shutouts.
All-Freshman selection Micah Bledsoe has 1,672 minutes in goal for Lipscomb. He grabbed 71 saves, second most in the A-Sun, and only gave up 19 goals, the fewest in school history. His .789 save percentage led the conference, just ahead of goalkeeper of the year Ryan Coulter of ETSU. Bledsoe has five shutouts to his credit.
The A-Sun Championship is hosted by Florida Gulf Coast after capturing a 6-1-1 league record. Following the conclusion of the Lipscomb and Jacksonville game, the No.4 seed Mercer Bears will battle the No. 5 seed North Florida Ospreys.
The winner of the Bisons/Dolphins matchup with get No. 2 seed ETSU on Friday at 3 p.m. CST. The winner of the other game will face the host and No. 1 seed FGCU on Friday with a scheduled start time of 6 p.m. CST.