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11/13/2013 | Fort Myers, Fla. | Attendance: 0
Wednesday, November 13, 2013
FORT MYERS, Fla. – For the fifth time in the past seven seasons, the Lipscomb men’s soccer team will play in the semifinals of the Atlantic Sun Conference Championship.
The Bisons defeated the No. 6 seed Jacksonville 1-0 in Fort Myers, Fla., Wednesday night to earn the right to face No. 2 ETSU Friday at 3 p.m. CST.
“We are certainly happy to be back in the semifinals,” Lipscomb coach Charles Morrow said. “We will be looking for a different result than we’ve had in the past.”
The win improved Lipscomb to 9-8-2 while JU dropped to 4-11-3.
The Bisons managed four shots in the first half but couldn’t get much behind any of them as they were directly into the gusting Florida wind.
The first half ended 0-0.
In the second period the teams switched ends of the field and Lipscomb had the advantage with the wind at its back.
In the 62nd minute off of a corner kick, Zander El-Hindi served a ball back into the box where Luke Gearin connected on a header and sent it past the keeper for his fifth goal of the season. The assist was El-Hindi’s second of the year.
“Gearin has been one of our best guys in the air all year,” Morrow said. “We thought set pieces would play to our advantage coming in, especially corners. It is something we have really been working on and focusing on this week to make sure we were making the right decisions given what the defense was giving us.
“It was a good ball in by Zander. More often than not, when we make the right decision and play a good ball, Luke is going to find the net.”
In the 79th minute Omar Djabi, the A-Sun Player of the Year, received a soft red card and the Bisons had to play a man down the rest of the match. The defense responded and was great once again for the Bisons as they completed their seventh shutout of the season to extend the school’s single season record.
"Tonight was a tough, hard fought game,” Morrow said. “This trip has been tough with our travel, but more so the conditions of tonight.
“The wind made playing pretty difficult. To pass the ball for any distance in 25-30 mph winds was really tough all game long and because of that I think it really limited what we could do.”
Micah Bledsoe corralled four balls to up his season total to 75. The shutout was his sixth of the year, a school record.
Each team fired nine shots apiece. Lipscomb had the advantage in corners at 7-2.
The Bisons have now recorded shutout victories to open each of the past two A-Sun tournaments as they defeated USC Upstate 1-0 in 2012.
In the only matchup of the season between the Bisons and ETSU, the two teams drew at 0-0 in Johnson City, Tenn.
“We are really excited to play ETSU again,” Morrow said. “I remember when we played last time I turned to one of the assistants and said, ‘it would be great to play them every game’.
“I am really happy to get the result tonight. Now we just need to see if we can get the right result against ETSU on Friday. It is a game that will bring out the best in both teams and I am really looking forward to the match-up.”