Right before conference play kicks off, we felt it was a perfect time to change the name of the soccer blog from Free Kicks to Extra Time. Let us know what you think about the name on our Facebook or Twitter pages and until then let’s talk a little bit about the past week of games and ones ahead.
Twice As Good
For the first time this season, two teams from the A-Sun Conference appeared in the NSCAA South Region Poll as FGCU jumped up one spot to number six, while ETSU received its first-ever recognition in the rankings coming in eighth place after defeating two opponents last week, both in overtime. Jacksonville has also seen its name in the south region polls this season coming in the week two poll.
Schoenfeld Nets Two
ETSU junior forward, Aaron Schoenfeld, racked up two overtime game-winners for the Bucs against Marshall and UNC Asheville. His efforts not only earned ETSU regional recognition, but also earned the Knoxville, Tenn. native two awards as he was named the A-Sun Player of the Week and was put on the College Soccer News National Team of the Week. The 6-foot-4 forward also added an assist on the week to bring his season point total to eight, tied for sixth in the conference.
Let’s Go Streaking
Five teams in the A-Sun have unbeaten streaks of two games or more, which is led by Mercer’s five-game streak (4-0-1). Behind the Bears is FGCU’s four-game stretch (2-0-2), ETSU (3-0) and Campbell (2-0-1) carry three-game runs and USC Upstate owns a modest two-game streak (1-0-1). It is highly likely that some of those runs will come to an end this weekend as the Camels open the A-Sun season against the Bucs and Mercer squares off with the Spartans on Thursday.
Conference Games This Week
Thursday, September 30th
Campbell at ETSU – 7 p.m. - ASUN.tv
Mercer at USC Upstate – 7 p.m. - ASUN.tv
Friday, October 1st
Stetson at Belmont – 3 p.m.
FGCU at Lipscomb – 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, October 2nd
Campbell at USC Upstate – 2 p.m. - ASUN.tv
Mercer at ETSU – 7 p.m. - ASUN.tv
Sunday, October 3rd
FGCU at Belmont – 12:05 p.m.
Stetson at Lipscomb – 2 p.m.
Jacksonville at UNF – 7 p.m. - ASUN.tv
The Scoring Trio
Stetson, Jacksonville and Mercer are at the top of the league in scoring with all three teams averaging two goals or more per game. The Hatters lead the conference with three goals per game average having scored 18 goals in six games, while the Dolphins have tallied the most goals, 21, coming in nine games for a 2.33 goals/game. The Bears are hanging right behind the duo with a two goal average.
Defense Wins Championships
On the flip side of the pitch, four A-Sun squads are allowing less than a goal per game as we begin conference play. Stetson, ETSU, FGCU and Campbell all adorn that list as the Hatters led the league with a 0.76 Goal Against Average (GAA). Nine of the ten teams in the conference have posted a shutout this season, while seven teams are tied for the led league with two blank sheets this season.
The Points Chase
Belmont’s Brandon Tarr, Stetson’s Kai Eckenrode and Jacksonville’s Nedim Hrustic are battling one another for the points lead as all three are in double-digits for points. Tarr, a sophomore, has 11 points on the season with three goals and five assists is first in the A-Sun, while Eckenrode (3 G, 5 A) and Hurstic (5 G, 0 A) are tied for second with ten points. The trio is in the lead for now as only four points separates first place from ninth.