Thursday, September 30, 2010

Extra Time - Women's Edition

A new week, a new name for our soccer blog … welcome to Extra Time! Our comments have been sparse so far. If you have enjoyed reading the blog, please let us know. If we aren’t covering an angle that needs more light, let us know. Don’t forget to follow us on our social media sites ( & as well.

In a Pinch Turn to Hensley
Some players just seem to have that innate ability to be in the right place at the right time. This season, Lisa Hensley has been that player for Jacksonville. In consecutive one-goal conference matches, JU defeated Stetson (1-0) and Kennesaw State (1-0) with Hensley providing the winning goal. For the year, the sophomore forward owns four game-winning goals in the Dolphins’ six victories. View Hensley discussing the Stetson game-winner here.

Peach State Leaders
Kennesaw State and Mercer each navigated its first four matches with a 3-1-0 record to top the A-Sun standings. Defense has been the calling card for both squads. The Bears surrendered just one goal over the four-match stretch while the Owls let two balls hit the back of the net. Another big challenge waits this weekend with a two-game swing through Florida for both teams to face Stetson and FGCU.

Belmont Breakout
Belmont put a disappointing start to the conference season in the rear-view mirror last weekend, beating USC Upstate 5-0 and ETSU 3-2 in double overtime. Sunday’s match with the Lady Bucs was a thriller that saw the teams combine for four second-half goals with Marcela Sanchez netting the equalizer with less than four minutes to play. Jessica Rix’s free kick from outside the box sealed the come-from-behind win in the 107th minute. Belmont’s eight goals more than doubled the team’s season total.

Pugh Etches Name in Record Books
With her three saves in the Owls’ 1-0 win at UNF on Sunday, Staci Pugh became the all-time Kennesaw State saves leader with 267 for her career. She passed Jessica Marek who now moves into second place with 264 saves for her career, which spanned from the Owls’ inaugural 2002 season to 2005. Not only has Pugh made her mark in the Kennesaw State record books, but she is also in the top five in a pair of categories in the Atlantic Sun Conference record book. She is currently tied for fourth all-time in career shutouts with 23, and she is fifth in career goals against average at 0.98.

Worth Quoting
“She's worked extremely hard since arriving as a freshman, and has been a key component to the program's constant success over the years. Staci had to overcome a serious injury that kept her out for a year, but she kept working hard and has improved in all areas of her game. Now in her final season, she's enjoying the fruits of her labor. Staci is not only a terrific goalkeeper, but a real character as well, and we couldn't be happier for her."

Rob King – Kennesaw State Head Coach on Staci Pugh

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Extra Time - September 29th Edition

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. -
Mercer at USC Upstate – 7 p.m. -

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. -
Mercer at ETSU – 7 p.m. -

Sunday, October 3rd
FGCU at Belmont – 12:05 p.m.
Stetson at Lipscomb – 2 p.m.
Jacksonville at UNF – 7 p.m. -

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.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

VolleyBlog - Sept 28 Edition

The Atlantic Sun volleyball teams concluded weekend non-conference action in strong fashion, winning 14 of 20 matches. ETSU posted a 5-0 record and Jacksonville won its three matches. The first full week of league play begins Wednesday with Campbell traveling to Spartanburg, S.C. to take on USC Upstate. If you attend any of the 10 A-Sun contests over the weekend, be sure to take some pictures and we'll recognize you here on the blog and on our Facebook and Twitter page.

Bucs Soaring Entering A-Sun Play
For the second time in the 2010 non-conference season, the ETSU Buccaneers collected a tournament title, winning the North Carolina Central Tournament. On Friday, the Buccaneers beat NC Central, Maryland-Eastern Shore and wrapped up the event by beating Hampton and South Carolina State on Saturday. Alysa Long earned MVP honors after collected 24 kills and 20 blocks. She hit .477 and enters conference play pacing the conference in hitting percentage (.338) and blocks (91).

Dolphins Staking Claim for Sunshine State Crown
Jacksonville closed its pre-conference portion of the schedule by again dominating in-state competition. The Dolphins swept Bethune-Cookman, Florida A&M and a non-conference match Stetson in improving their record against fellow Florida schools to 6-1 (2-7 against the other 49 states). Coincidentally, Jacksonville opens A-Sun play with FGCU on Friday and Setson one day later.

ETSU's Start One of A-Sun's Best Last Six Years
With victories on nine of its last 10 games, ETSU has improved its record to 14-5, its best 19-game start since also going 14-5 in 2005 and 2006. Since ETSU joined the A-Sun in 2005, only four teams have posted better 19-game starts than ETSU...FGCU started 17-2 in 2007 as did FAU in 2005. Belmont opened 2006 16-3 as did Lipscomb last season.

Gulley Garners National Praise
Kennesaw State's Sabrita Gulley's performance against Alabama A&M garnered the senior acclaim from Collegiate Volleyball Update (, as the organization named the outside hitter one of the Top Performers of the week. Gulley set a Kennesaw State record with 21 kills in a three-set victory. The 21 kills also marked the highest total by an A-Sun performer in a three-set match since the scoring format changed from the 30-point era to the 25-point era. Gulley is only the second A-Sun performer honored by the organization this season.

Lipscomb Enters A-Sun Play Looking to Extend Win Streak
The reigning champion Lipscomb Lady Bisons open league play with home contests against Kennesaw State and Mercer. After posting a perfect 20-0 regular-season mark in 2009 and finishing the 2008 regular season with five straight wins the Lady Bisons have won 25 straight regular-season conference games. Across Division I, only North Dakota State, which has won 42 regular-season Summit League games, owns a longer active streak. Lipscomb last lost an A-Sun regular-season game on October 28, 2008, a five-set loss at Belmont. The Lady Bisons have not lost a home A-Sun match since October 4, 2008, falling to FGCU in five sets.

Catch Seven Matches on ASun.TV
Among the 10 conference contests slated for the weekend, seven can be viewed on ASun.TV. Belmont, Lipscomb and UNF will air both its games while Jacksonville will broadcast its Friday game with FGCU.

Upcoming A-Sun Volleyball Matches on ASun.TV
Friday, October 1: Stetson at UNF, 7:00 p.m. ET
Friday, October 1: FGCU at Jacksonville 7:00 p.m. ET
Friday, October 1: Kennesaw State at Belmont, 6:30 p.m. CT
Friday, October 1: Mercer at Lipscomb, 6:30 p.m. CT

Saturday, October 2: Mercer at Belmont, 2:00 p.m. CT
Saturday, October 2: Kennesaw State at Lipscomb, 2:00 p.m. CT
Saturday, October 2: FGCU at UNF, 3:00 p.m. ET

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Women's Soccer Free Kicks - Week 5

Free Kicks returns for another week of notes, recaps and previews. We have two competitive submissions for new names of the blog, Extra Time or Offside. If you have a favorite between the two or still want to offer up another option for us to consider, submit your title in our comment section, on our Facebook page or through our Twitter account.

Shutouts Rule Week One
Conference play opened in the Atlantic Sun this past weekend with eight of the 10 league games resulting in a shutout and one, the FGCU-Jacksonville contest finishing in 0-0 fashion. Mercer (1-0 win vs Belmont; 4-0 win against Lipscomb) and Jacksonville (0-0 tie with FGCU; 1-0 win vs Stetson) posted back-to-back clean sheets and ETSU blanked Campbell, 2-0, in its lone A-Sun contest.

Georgia > Nashville
The only two schools to earn two victories in the first weekend shared two traits -both reside inside "The Peach State" and both headed north and beat Belmont and Lipscomb. Kennesaw State opened league play by pulling out a dramatic victory against Lipscomb, 2-1, thanks to a goal by Brittany Vining with three seconds left in regulation. Also on Friday, Mercer got an overtime goal from Sara Elliot to top Belmont, 1-0. In a rematch of the 2009 Atlantic Sun Championship title game, the Owls shut out the Bruins, 2-0 on Sunday afternoon. Down Belmont Boulevard, Mercer blanked Lipscomb, 4-0, and held the Lady Bisons shotless, 19-0.

Kerns Moves to the Top of Goal Scoring List
Although only playing one game during the week, ETSU's Ramey Kerns scored both goals in the Buccaneers' 2-0 home win against Campbell. She moved ahead of Stetson's Tessa Gavilsky to take the lead in conference in both goals (5) and points (11). Check out highlights from Buccaneers victory HERE.

Hear from the Weekly Winners
Each week, the Atlantic Sun conducts interviews with the Player of the Week and Defensive Player of the Week. To hear from UNF's Carolina Lencina and Mercer's Raschelle Riley, click HERE.

Full Slate on ASun.TV
In addition to being the week of season premieres on network television, ASun.TV offers plenty of fresh action this weekend as eight of the 10 league showdowns air on the channel. Friday and Sunday feature four games each. On Friday, The A-Sun's reigning weekly award winners, Mercer's senior defender Raschelle Riley and UNF's Carolina Lencina meet in Macon. For the full schedule of games and how to purchase events, visit ASun.TV.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Men's Soccer Free Kicks - Week 3

We are one week away from the beginning of the conference season as the 10 teams across the league wrap up the non-conference season. This will also be the final week before we pick a new name for the men’s and women’s soccer blog so continue to send in your suggestions to our Facebook and Twitter account for a chance to win an A-Sun Apparel package.

FGCU Takes Down Another Ranked Team
On Saturday, FGCU welcomed the No. 5 ranked Ohio State Buckeyes into Ft. Myers for the FGCU Kick-Off Classic and the Buckeyes left with a 1-0 loss as the Eagles’ freshman Ryan Price headed in the lone goal of the game in the 64th minute to stun the visiting Buckeyes. For their win and 1-1 tie with Drexel, who is ranked fifth in the South Atlantic region, on Thursday, FGCU earned a seventh place ranking in the latest edition of the NSCAA South Region Poll. Video Interview

Campbell Breaks through with Victory Over Niners
Not to be outdone by its A-Sun brethren, Campbell defeated the Charlotte 49ers, 2-1, on Saturday for the first time since Oct. 2, 1990. Khalil Johnson, a senior forward, registered two second-half goals before Charlotte, who defeated then-No. 14 Wake Forest earlier in the week, scored a late goal to cut the deficit to one. For his efforts, Johnson earned the A-Sun Player of the Week honors.

Mercer’s Shutter Earns National Team of the Week Honor
The Bears sophomore Josh Shutter was named to the College Soccer News National Team of the Week after scoring two goals in a 2-1 victory against Georgia State. Shutter scored the game’s opening goal in the first half and then added the game-winner in the 85th minute to seal the victory against the Panthers. The victory moved Mercer to 3-1-1 on the season and its best start after five games since going 4-1 to start the 2007 season.

Brustad Tallies Four-Minute Hat Trick
Stetson's Fredrik Brustad registered three goals in the Hatters 4-1 win against the Manhattan Jaspers. Brustad scored his first two goals in the 50th minute before recording his final goal in the 54th minute to put the game out of reach. Brustad, the A-Sun Preseasoon Player of the Year, leads Stetson in scoring with four goals and nine points. Brustad Interview

A-Sun Teams on the Winning End
At this point of the non-conference season, six of the 11 teams in the A-Sun have records of .500 or better, four of which are winning records. In comparison at the end of last season only two teams finished with a .500 record or better (FGCU and Stetson).

Tough Opponents Ahead For A-Sun Teams
In the final week of non-conference play, the A-Sun squares off against three regionally-ranked teams and one top-10 team. Campbell faces UNC-Greensboro, No. 8 in South Region, on Wednesday, while FGCU hosts Florida International, No. 5 in the South Region, on Friday. In a Sunday showdown, Jacksonville faces the No. 9 team in the nation, SMU, who has already faced one A-Sun team earlier in the season in Lipscomb.

Quote of the Week
"I'm proud of the way that our team was able to come together and pull out a victory against a quality opponent," said Campbell head coach Steve Armas. From opening day until now, we've had a lot of growth in the way we play and it clicked today for us. I credit our kids for pushing each other to be successful and I'm extremely proud of their efforts."

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

VolleyBlog - Fourth Edition

USC Upstate stands on top of the Atlantic Sun standings after winning the first conference game of the season, beating Stetson in four sets on Thursday. The Spartans will hold onto that spot throughout the week as schools conclude non-conference weekend play this week. Once again several individuals and teams shined over the weekend adding intrigue to the upcoming conference season. Continue to message us here, on Facebook ( or on Twitter (

Camels Emerge Champs of Hilton Garden Inn Beach Bash
In leading Campbell to the UNC Wilmington Hilton Garden Inn Beach Bash, Allyson Goldbach earned MVP honors of the tournament. She hit a career high .480 in the Camels' fourth-ever victory against NC State. For the tournament, she totaled 38 kills, 36 digs and nine aces.

A Grand Performance for Gulley
Kennesaw State's Sabrita Gulley became the first Owl to record 1,000 kills for her career in the Owls' match with Coastal Carolina. Kennesaw State posted a pair of victories at its Owl Invitational. Gulley earned All-Tournament honors. She established the program's career record for kills during the 2009 season.

Bucs Bolster Non-Conference Record
ETSU picked up three wins at the Battle in the Boro tournament over the weekend. ETSU downed Charleston Southern, South Alabama and Winthrop, losing only to host Georgia Southern. ETSU's Alysa Long hit .350 at the tournament and picked up 38 kills and 16 blocks to earn her first Player of the Week honor. After a 1-3 start, the Buccaneers have won 8 of their last 10 games, their best 10-game stretch since an 8-2 span from September 15 through October 12 in 2007.

A-Sun Foes Continue to Meet In Non-Conference Action
One week after Belmont-Lipscomb and USC Upstate-Stetson squared off in non-conference play, three pairs of league members will hold non-conference competitions this week. FGCU will travel to Nashville to face Belmont on Saturday and Lipscomb on Sunday. Also on Saturday, Stetson hosts Jacksonville.

Spartan Teammates Sink Stetson
USC Upstate's Katie Downey and Morgan Thomas became the first set of A-Sun teammates to record at least 12 kills and a hitting percentage of .500 or better in a match. Thomas led the Spartans with 18 kills and hit .500 while Downey hit a team-leading .524 (12 kills, one error in 21 attempts) in the four-set victory.

Follow Pease's Senior Season
Lipscomb senior setter, and Atlantic Sun Preseason Player of the Year, Stefine "Jake" Pease submitted her first entry in her journal on adding the Lady Bisons entry into social media. The volleyball team features a dedicated Facebook page where fans can view game highlights like the Lady Bisons contest with Belmont and behind the scenes videos on their trip to St. Louis.

Did we miss a performance, a milestone or victory of note? Share with us here, on Facebook or on Twitter.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Free Kicks - Women's Edition

Conference play kicks off this week, so the race for the title starts Thursday. Send us pictures from you and your friends rooting on your favorite A-Sun soccer team this weekend! If you haven’t started following our social media sites ( &, now is a good time to start.

Race for the Title Starts
The A-Sun covered the gambit in non-conference play with some teams starting out just as expected, others providing early surprises and a few slow starts. A rematch of last year’s title match between Kennesaw State and Belmont headlines Saturday’s play. Others to keep an eye on will be Lipscomb’s stingy defense hosting Kennesaw State and Mercer while JU welcomes Stetson and FGCU to campus. Like Jacksonville, UNF hosts the Hatters and Eagles this weekend. Tune into ASun.TV for the latest schedule of events airing on the conference’s webstreaming channel.

National Stats Debut
The NCAA released its first set of national statistics this week. Through September 12, the highlight is Stetson’s combo of Katie Bitetto and Tessa Gavilsky ranking 20th nationally with four assists.

Special Side Trip
The FGCU Eagles found themselves in New York City on September 11 and visited Ground Zero as a part of their trip to West Point for the Black Knights Classic. The FGCU Media Relations staff featured the visit on their website this week - Women's Soccer Gets Full New York City Experience [] .

Feast or Famine for Hatters
Senior Tessa Gavilsky leads the A-Sun in points (10) and assists (4) while ranking third in goals (3). However, her season has been a microcosm of the feast or famine situation for the Hatters on a whole. In Stetson’s three wins, they are averaging 3.0 goals per game but in their five losses, the team managed just two goals while surrendering five per game. Gavilsky has done the bulk of her damage in the wins (2 goals and 4 assists) but has been limited to just a single goal in the remaining contests.

Belmont Living on the Edge
One of the league’s preseason favorites, Belmont, started 1-6-0. Five of the team’s six losses have been by one goal including three in overtime. Last year, the Bruins went 4-4-0 in one-goal matches and recorded a 1-0-4 mark in overtime games.

Border Battle Success
USC Upstate picked up its first win of the season behind a stellar defensive effort, blanking Morehead State 1-0 despite being out-shot 27-2. Rachel Collins and Sarah Plantz combined in goal for the shutout. The Spartans lost their tournament finale, 1-0, to Chattanooga. Catherine Nolff, Courtney Mack and Ashleigh Barkley received All-Tournament honors at the Border Classic.

Worth Quoting
“What really hit home was when we went to the museum. It had amazing photographs and revealed to us how many people actually died, how many children lost a parent, and how many people risked their lives trying to help and save others. In all, the trip to New York was an amazing experience and one that I will never forget. Going to the spot where the twin towers once stood is a lot different in person then just seeing images on the television at home. It was incredibly sad and hard to see the people around the site putting down flowers and balloons in memory of who they lost.”

Olivia Elias – FGCU Junior Midfielder on visit to Ground Zero

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Men's Soccer Free Kicks Week Two

Two weeks of Atlantic Sun Men’s Soccer is in the books and we are only 34 games away from the beginning of the conference schedule on September 30th. Week two saw Mercer and Belmont claim non-conference tournament titles, while Jacksonville trumped UNC Greensboro and ETSU bested Bradley.

*We are still searching for a name for the men’s and women’s soccer blog so please send in your suggestions on Facebook and you can win an A-Sun Apparel Package.*

They are the Champions
Mercer travelled up to High Point, N.C. for the Flash Gordon Motors Invitational and came back to the Peach State with the tournament title after blanking Radford 3-0 and tying host school, High Point, 2-2. The Bears claimed the tournament by goal differential over High Point. Belmont hosted the Mafiaoza’s Invitational and defeated Cenetenary, 5-2, and Gardner-Webb, 2-1, to claim a tournament title of their own. Lipscomb also had a 2-0 record in the tournament as well, but the Bruins owned the higher goals scored total to give Belmont the tournament crown ahead of its Boulevard rivals.

Darko Strikes Again
Jacksonville’s Darko Karamatic continued his success in winning games as he registered a game-winner against UNC-Greensboro to increase his season total to three. Karamatic’s goal in the 27th minute was the decisive one in the game and gave the Dolphins a win over the regionally-ranked Spartans.

A-Sun Receiving Regional Recognition
After going 2-0-1 on the week, the Dolphins jumped into the NSCAA South Region rankings debuting in the eighth spot. Jacksonville sits at 3-1-1 on the season with four non-conference games remaining before the start of A-Sun play. In the previous poll, FGCU saw their name in fifth in the same poll after defeating South Florida on the road to open the season. The Eagles also received votes in the national poll that same week.

Living Up to Expectations
Sophomores Brandon Tarr and Brett Petricek earned A-Sun Player of the Week awards after impressive showings for their week of play. Both players were named to the Preseason A-Sun All-Conference team and were two of four sophomores named to the team. Tarr tallied three goals and an assist on the week, which included scoring both goals against Gardner-Webb to help Belmont to the Mafiaoza’s Invitational title. Petricek recorded his second shutout of the season in a win against Radford en route to the Flash Gordon Motors Invitational title.

A-Sun Players and Teams on the National Scene
Six players in the Atlantic Sun rank in the top ten of the NCAA in several statistics, while Stetson as a team ranks nationally in two categories. The Hatters are tops in the NCAA in average goals per game as they have scored 12 goals in the first three games, while taking 7th nationally for total goals with 12. On the individual level, USC Upstate’s Timo Foerster and Hakeem King are tied for eighth in points per game at 1.33, while Foerster also ranks second in assists per game at 1.33 and fourth in total assists.

Stetson’s Niels De Jonck and Jacksonville’s Darko Karamatic are tied for ninth with goals per game with 1.0, while Karamatic is also seventh in total goals with four. Along with Foerster, Stetson’s Jonathan Mendoza also averages 1.33 assists per game to rank second in the nation, while Lipscomb’s Joey Chiappetta is sixth with one assist per game.

Looking Ahead to this Week
Campbell has arguably the toughest test this week as they face two 2009 NCAA Tournament Participants in UNC Wilmington and Charlotte, both at home. The Camels takes on the Seahawks on Wednesday at 7 p.m. before taking on the 49ers, Saturday at the same time. FGCU continues with their tough non-conference slate by battling No. 9 Ohio State, who are 4-0 on the season, on Saturday at 7:30 p.m., but before facing the Buckeyes the Eagles square off with Drexel, who is ranked No. 5 in the South Atlantic Region on Friday in the Embassy Suites Kick-Off Classic. Also on Friday, USC Upstate plays crosstown rival, Wofford, who reached the NCAA Tournament last season.

Two other teams, Stetson and Lipscomb, host tournaments this weekend as the Hatters face Manhattan and FIU, No. 10 in the South Region, in the Stetson Soccer Classic, while the Bisons square off against UAB and UNC Asheville in the Hyatt Place Select Lipscomb Invitational.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Welcome to the VolleyBlog!

After calling for new names for our fall sports blogs, we got several good suggestions, but we here in Macon at the conference office have decided on renaming Digs & Kills to VolleyBlog. Congratulations are in order for Kirt Barnes who submitted the name. He will receive an A-Sun apparel prize package. Now onto the week that was and what's upcoming in A-Sun volleyball.

Battle of the Boulevard in the Non-conference??
Strange as it may sound, Belmont and Lipscomb will meet in a non-conference contest at 5:00 p.m. local time (on ASun.TV). The Bruins and Lady Bisons have traded the A-Sun Championship title over the past four seasons with Belmont owning the even years, 2006 & 2008 and Lipscomb winning claiming crowns in 2007 and last year. These two Nashville programs, along with FGCU have dominated the conference combining to go 122-15 against the rest of the conference since the start of 2006 (FGCU joined in 2007).

More A-Sun Foes Meeting Outside League Play
At this weekend's Wofford College Invitational, USC Upstate and Stetson will meet outside of league play. Later this month, FGCU will travel to Nashville to face both Belmont and Lipscomb in non-conference play and Jacksonville will head south to DeLand to oppose Stetson. On October 19, River City Rivals Jacksonville and UNF will meet at Swisher Gymnasium.

A-Sun on the National Scene
The NCAA released its first set of statistics on Tuesday with several A-Sun teams and individuals appearing among the nation's best. Three individuals, Lipscomb's Alex Kelly, Kennesaw State's Sabrita Gulley and UNF's Paige Pridgeon, rank among the top 40 in kills per set with Kelly pacing the A-Sun representation at 16th. She ranks 12th in kills per set, the highest A-Sun individual ranking in any statistic. Preseason Player of the Year Stefine "Jake" Pease ranks 17th in assists per set; ETSU's Alysa Long places 38th in blocks per set and Belmont's Kayla Albritton stands 50th in assists per set. Among teams, the Lady Bisons rank in the top 50 in digs per set (31st), assists per set (37th), win percentage (tied for 46th) and kills per set (47th). Belmont ranks 31st in aces per set and if they were included in the stats, USC Upstate would find itself 42nd in digs per set.

Dolphins Embark on Tour de Florida
Beginning this past Friday, Jacksonville began a stretch of its schedule where it will face nine in-state opponents among its next 10 days. The Dolphins started its run towards "the state title" with wins against FAU and UCF at the Courtyard by Marriott/UCF Classic. This weekend they have a rematch with FAU then face the hosting USF Bulls to conclude the Hilton Garden Inn Tournament. Games against Bethune-Cookman, Florida A&M, FGCU and two with Stetson make the remainder of the Florida Swing.

All-Tournament Honors
The following A-Sun student-athletes earned All-Tournament honors over the weekend:

Kayla Albritton, Belmont, Active Ankle Challenge
Allyson Goldbach, Campbell, Black and Gold Invitational
Megan Devine, ETSU, Buccaneer Classic presented by Holiday Inn
Kendall Courtney, Jacksonville, Courtyard by Marriott/UCF Classic
Kathryn Kane, Jacksonville, Courtyard by Marriott/UCF Classic
Sabrita Gulley, Kennesaw State, Runnin' Bulldog Classic
Baylee Strachan, Kennesaw State, Runnin' Bulldog Classic
Kaycee Green, Lipscomb, Gamecock Invitational
*Alex Kelly, Lipscomb, Gamecock Invitational
Stefine "Jake" Pease, Lipscomb, Gamecock Invitational
Nicole Baran, UNF, Best Western Invitational
Paige Pridgeon, UNF, Best Western Invitational
Katie Downey, USC Upstate, Myrtle Beach Comfort Suites Invitational
Ellen Hawks, Stetson, Elon Volleyball Classic

On the Horizon
Kennesaw State will be the only A-Sun school at home during this, the fourth weekend of non-conference tournament action. The Owls face Presbyterian, Coastal Carolina, Troy and Ohio State over two days in the Owl Invitational. Although not at home, USC Upstate stays in Spartanburg participating in the Wofford College Invitational. The Spartans face Stetson, Wofford and SIU Edwardsville.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Free Kicks - Women's Edition

We put another week of non-conference matches in the book at the A-Sun. Several teams secured big wins for their programs and the highly anticipated start to conference play looms just one week away. If you haven’t started following our social media sites ( &, now is a good time to start. We are hoping you can help us pick a new name for our weekly sports blogs. Until we find a winner, it’s “Free Kicks” for at least another week. Here’s a quick tour around the league …

Video Tour
FGCU Arkansas Post-Game - Watch
JU-Winthrop Highlights - Watch
ETSU and Belmont have highlights available on their main athletics pages as well.

Bucs Breeze Through Non-Conference Slate
ETSU breezed through the opening three weeks of the season and carry a 3-1-1 mark into the ETSU Invitational presented by DoubleTree Hotel. The Bucs beat up on a pair of non-Division I foes by a combined 6-0 score while handling UNC Asheville 4-0 for their other win. While freshman Ramey Kerns (3 goals/1 assist) paces a potent offense, the defense may be the star after allowing just two goals all season. All four matches of the tournament will be available on ASun.TV.

Thriller Hands FGCU Benchmark Win
Senior Michelle Kuhnen converted a corner kick into a game-winning goal in the 90th minute to lift FGCU past Arkansas, 1-0. The Razorbacks rank 10th in the most recent NSCAA South Region Poll. The third-year program notched its first win against an opponent from a BCS conference.

.500 Sounds Fine to Lady Bisons
While a 3-3-0 record may not be reason to get excited some places, at Lipscomb it may signify the turning of a corner. After blanking Central Arkansas 1-0, the Lady Bisons moved to .500 for the season and recorded a third non-conference victory for the first time since joining the A-Sun. Lipscomb deploys a high-pressure approach that they hope disrupts the flow of the opponent. So far so good. Through six games, the team surrendered just five goals.

Excitement … Then Disappointment
Mercer built a 2-0 halftime lead on No. 25 Georgia in front of a sell-out crowd at Bear Field. However, the Bulldogs stormed back to score twice in the second half before netting the game-winner in overtime. It marked the second-straight year that Mercer led their in-state rival late in the second half before allowing the Bulldogs to come back.

Campbell Sweep
Olga Ekblom was named Atlantic Sun player of the week, while Kaili Terry received A-Sun defensive player of the week recognition. They are just the third pair of Campbell teammates to sweep the conference weekly awards, a feat last accomplished in 2004.

Right on the Cusp
A quick glance at the record may be a bit misleading for UNF. The Ospreys fell to 0-5-0 with a 2-1 loss at Clemson. The reason it may be deceptive … the loss was UNF’s fourth straight by one goal. Head coach Linda Hamilton put together one of the most ambitious schedules in the conference as UNF’s five opponents are 17-6-1 so far this year.

Worth Quoting
“We are probably going to struggle offensively. But we have been in every game this year because of our defense. I really feel like if we can find a goal or two we are going to win a game based on how our defense is playing. We are trying to play a high pressure system with very little depth because that gives us our best chance. We won the Central Arkansas game because of our pressure, because of our defending the way we defend and because of our work ethic. With the exception of Friday night we have outworked every team we have played this year. I tell them the only thing we have control over is our work ethic. We don’t have subs. We have injuries. We can’t control those things, but we can control how hard we fight. That’s what I have been most proud of is the way they keep fighting and fighting.”

Jon Ireland – Lipscomb Head Coach

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Free Kicks - Men's Edition

The opening week of the 2010 men’s soccer season was quite the beginning to a new season as Stetson kicked off with a 10-0 blowout of Johnson & Wales, while FGCU followed with a 2-1 victory at No. 13 South Florida that ended the Bulls’ 30-match home unbeaten streak. Then ETSU capped the week with a 1-0 road win against two-time National Champion, Clemson. Remember, if you attend a match this week, send us a photo of you and your friends … we’ll get it posted here and on our Facebook page!

Also don’t forget about our contest to all fans to name our volleyball and soccer blogs. If we pick your suggestion, we'll send an A-Sun apparel prize package. Send your suggestions into our facebook page.

Eagles Obtain National Recognition
Riding the wave of their victory over South Florida, FGCU appeared in national polls as the Eagles are ranked 5th in the NSCAA South Region and 33rd in the NSCAA National Poll. Deion Jones, who scored the game-winner against No. 13 USF, was named to’s National Team of the Week for his two goals and assist on the week.

Darko Finishes Two Overtime Games
Jacksonville’s Darko Karamatic, the A-Sun Player of the Week for the opening weekend, justified his award by scoring his second overtime game-winner in a 2-1 victory against Georgia Southern on Tuesday night. Karamatic, a junior, lifted the Dolphins to a 2-1 overtime victory over Florida Atlantic on the previous Friday and finished the opening week with three goals in three games.

Bucs Trump Tigers on the Road
ETSU’s senior defender, Guilherme Reis, stepped to the penalty mark in the 116th minute of the game against Clemson and gave the Bucs a 1-0 double-overtime victory. The goal, along with his efforts earlier in the week against Furman, earned Reis the Defensive A-Sun Player of the Week honors. Reis and the rest of Bucs travel to Evansville, Ind., to face Bradley and Evansville this weekend.

Timo Foerster -- Assisting Machine
Through three games on the season, USC Upstate’s junior midfielder has assisted on four of the Spartans five goals, which leads the A-Sun. Last season, Foerster totaled five assists for the Spartans, which topped his team and ranked fourth in the A-Sun.

Stout Defenses in A-Sun
Three teams in the A-Sun (ETSU, Campbell and Stetson) have a sub-1.00 GAA through the first week of play in the 2010 season. Stetson, which has played one game, leads the A-Sun after posting a shutout in their lone game, while the Bucs and Camels are allowing 0.44 and 0.58 GAA, respectively.

What’s Ahead
Eight teams take the field on Friday, including UNF opening the season against Memphis, while Belmont welcomes Lipscomb, Gardner-Webb and Centenary for the Belmont Invitational.

Quoting the Coach
“That was a great college soccer game,” said ETSU head coach Scott Calabrese. “Being at Clemson, which is a big school with a great atmosphere and a historic program. I can’t be more proud of the way our team came out and competed. Clemson is a well-coached team that is very organized. I think we showed tremendous mental strength. We had a goal taken away and had a lot of chances that didn’t fall for us, but we continued to press the issue.”

“I felt like for the first time this was a team that truly believed throughout the game that we were going to win,” Calabrese said. “That is a mentality that I want to see continue.”

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Digs and Kills - Week 2

Labor Day weekend featured the second weekend of non-conference tournaments in Atlantic Sun volleyball. ETSU won the Radford Invitational topping Canisius, Davidson and Norfolk State. Remember, if you attend a match, this week send us a photo of you and your friends … we’ll get it posted here and on our Facebook page!

Webb Reaches 300-Win Plateau
Belmont's Deane Webb, already the program's winningest head coach secured the 300th win of his coaching career when the Bruins outlasted Weber State in five sets. The win represented the 138th for Webb at Belmont. Previously, he picked up 28 wins at ETSU and started his career by posting a 134-51 record at Indiana Wesleyan.

Stancliff Stands Tall
In winning the first Player of the Week award of her career, ETSU's Jamie Stancliff becomes the first Buccaneer to earn an A-Sun weekly honor since Amanda Youell earned the honor for her play from September 17-23, 2007.

Precursor to Successful Year in Johnson City
The Buccaneers' three-game sweep of the Radford Invitational represented the first time since the 2001 Winthrop Tournament that ETSU went undefeated at a non-conference tournament. The Buccaneers topped Georgia State, Georgia Southern and Winthrop kicking off a year that finished in a 20-6 campaign.

All-Tournament Honors
The following A-Sun volleyballers earned All-Tournament honors at respective events over the weekend:
Kayla Albritton, Belmont, Nevada Invitational
Annie Kobeski, Campbell, Colonial Challenge
Whitney Cogburn, ETSU, Radford Invitational
*Jamie Stancliff, ETSU, Radford Invitational
Camil Dominguez, FGCU, Active Ankle Challenge
Alyssa Lang, Kennesaw State, UIC Invitational
Kaycee Green, Lipscomb, Pittsburgh Invitational
Alex Kelly, Lipscomb, Pittsburgh Invitational
Anna Coursey, Mercer, Bear Brawl
Amiee Frutchey, Mercer, Bear Brawl
Paige Pridgeon, UNF, Holiday Inn Jefferson Cup
Mindy Quimby, USC Upstate, Appalachian Invitational
Monique Russell, Stetson, Clarion Volleyball Invitational

Coming Up
Two Atlantic Sun schools host tournaments this weekend as ETSU looks to build off its success at the Radford Invitational welcoming Austin Peay, UNC Greensboro and UNC Asheville for the Buccaneer Classic presented by Holiday Inn. Fans can catch all the action from Brooks Gym on ASun.TV.

UNF plays in front of the home crowd for the first time in 2010 hosting the Best Western Invitational. The Ospreys open with Chattanooga and Troy on Friday with contests against Charleston Southern and UIC slated for Saturday.

From the Quote Sheet
"There's a coaching saying that I agree with that says 'Good players make good coaches', and seeing a 300th win as a college coach reminds me how fortunate I've been to coach all the wonderful players that earned all of these victories," Belmont head coach Deane Webb said. "Along with the players, I'm thankful for the assistant coaches that have coached our teams to these victories. Whether it's Jeff Wismer, who just started here and has coached our team to three wins, to Embrey Brannon who has been here four years and is doing a great job with our players, to Tony Howell and Ken Carver, coaches that worked alongside me for years and each coached teams to over a hundred wins, they're as much responsible for those successes as anyone." - Courtesy

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Free Kicks - Women's Edition

We didn’t have a lot of comments from our first edition of FREE KICK. We’ll work a little harder on our end to solicit some. Remember, if you attend a match, this week send us a photo of you and your friends … we’ll get it posted here and on our Facebook page! Thanks to the folks at FGCU and USC Upstate that sent stuff to us.

College Cup Comes to Kennesaw
More news related to the KSU Soccer Stadium. The NCAA announced that the facility will serve as host to the 2011 Women’s College Cup. That’s a great honor for Kennesaw State and the A-Sun. Our staff in Macon is looking forward to helping the Owls out that weekend.

JU Near Miss
Jacksonville stood less than 20 minutes away from claiming The Citadel/Nike Invitational title before falling to Charleston Southern in overtime. The Dolphins dispatched the host Bulldogs in dominate fashion, 3-0. A goal in the 73rd minute and the game-winner five minutes into overtime drowned the team’s opportunity to take home the trophy. Lisa Hensley and Jelena Vrcelj each scored two goals on the weekend.

Blog Me
The A-Sun clearly was not the only person that saw the value of a blog. If you want another inside view into A-Sun women’s soccer, Belmont coach Lisa Howe (, ETSU teammates Tori Head and Samantha Kron (, JU senior Devin Dowell ( and Mercer senior Sara Elliot ( provide regular blog posts throughout the season as well.

Big Weekend at Bear Field
Mercer will host “Orange Out Weekend” as two of the most recognized non-conference foes on the schedule come to Macon. Every fan wearing orange to Bear Field will receive complimentary admission as Mercer takes on in-state rival Georgia at 7:00pm on Friday and Florida State at 1:00pm on Sunday. Those unable to make it to Bear Field can watch all the action on the conference's webstreaming channel, ASun.TV.

Lady Bisons Defense Making the Difference
Lipscomb may have been picked to finish near the bottom of the standings in the preseason poll, but a stout defense through the season’s first two weeks may turn some heads. The Lady Bisons surrendered just three goals in four matches and have yet to allow an opponent to find the back of the net twice in a single match. Goalkeeper Erin Zerio boasts a 0.73 goals against average but owes a lot to her defense since she only averages 4.5 saves per match. While the defense is the good news for the Lady Bisons, the offense will have to try to catch up to make a big move in the conference. Lipscomb scored just three goals of their own through four matches.

By the Numbers
Four A-Sun goalies carry sub-1.00 goals against averages into the weekend: Megan Masch, ETSU (0.37), Erin Zerio, Lipscomb (0.73), Cristina Guilarte, Mercer (0.90) and Jamie Panfil, Campbell (0.95). Impressive numbers, no doubt, but who has needed to make more saves to reach that mark? Zerio and Panfil have each made 18 saves while Masch has recorded only six saves and faced just 22 shots.

Looking Ahead
In addition to the Orange Out Weekend at Mercer, FGCU plays host to a formidable group of teams in its Embassy Suites Hotel Kickoff Classic. Arkansas, Kent State and Miami all descend upon Fort Myers for what should be a competitive classic.

Worth Quoting
“The committee is thrilled with the selection of Kennesaw State as host of the 2011 NCAA Women’s Soccer College Cup. The committee’s priority is to select a championship site that will continue to elevate the championship experience, meanwhile enhancing the student-athlete experience. We are confident Kennesaw State is committed to these goals and will conduct a first-class championship.”

Dr. Lisa Campos – NCAA Division I Women’s Soccer Chairperson

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