Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Bisons Avoid Overtime; End Program Record Run

Read a book. Check email. Post to Facebook. Visit with friends and family.

There are a myriad of things that Lipscomb men’s soccer players could have done following the conclusion of their 1-0 victory over USC Upstate in the quarterfinal match of the A-Sun Men’s Soccer Championship.

After all, they had time on their hands, between 10-20 minutes of time to which they had become unaccustomed. You see, prior to Wednesday, the Bisons had not finished a match in regulation since Oct. 19. In fact, their last five contests prior to Wednesday’s victory stretched to overtime or double overtime - a program record.

In the last 19 days, Lipscomb has played 80 minutes of extra time, or almost another entire match. During that stretch the Bisons posted a 2-2-1 record: tying Stetson 1-1 (2OT), losing 1-0 to USC Upstate (OT), defeating Jacksonville 1-0 (2OT), losing to North Florida 3-2 (2OT) and defeating Northern Kentucky 1-0 (OT).

“That experience has served us well,” said Lipscomb Head Coach Charles Morrow. “But it is nice to get one done without having to go into extra time.”

This season Lipscomb holds a 4-8-0 (.333) mark in matches played in regulation, while they are 3-3-1 (.500) overall in overtime or double overtime. Also in 2012 the Bisons played more overtime games than in their last two combined. They lead the conference in overtime games, topping ETSU by one and USC Upstate and Stetson by two.

The Bisons return to the A-Sun Men’s Soccer Championship for the sixth consecutive year, the longest active streak in the A-Sun. 

“We felt like we had the upper hand for a couple of reasons,” said Lipscomb Head Coach Charles Morrow. “We let one slip away at home (against USC Upstate) earlier in the season, but also every one of our players has tournament experience.

“Tonight we weren’t happy with the first 15 minutes of the game, and I think some of the jitters were from our younger players. It was nice to see our upperclassmen calm things down and start to move the ball.”

The Bisons now post an even .500 record (4-4-1) in A-Sun Championship matches, and move on to face No. 1 seed FGCU on Friday.

“We do well every year, and we have a good set of guys and we play as a team,” said Tyler Burkardt, who came off the bench to score the game’s only goal against the Spartans. “I think we do so more than most teams, as we don’t rely on individual effort.

“Against FGCU we are just going to look to play our system and to repeat the last time out, when we got some goals on them and were able to get the win.”

“Florida Gulf Coast is a very talented team and they are going to be tough one for us on Friday,” said Morrow. “It is nice that we had some success against them this year. We feel like there is a recipe for success and we hope to replicate that on Friday.”

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