MACON, Ga. (MERCER RELEASE) – The Mercer men's soccer team kicks off its Atlantic Sun Conference slate with a pair of home games at Bear Field this weekend.
The Bears take on USC Upstate first on October 4 at 7 p.m. before closing out the weekend against ETSU on October 6 at 2 p.m.
Scouting the Opposition
USC Upstate has had a rough start to its 2013, as it enters play on Friday evening with a 0-5-1 record. Defense has been the problem for the Spartans this season, as they rank last in the A-Sun Conference with a 2.44 goals against average. USC Upstate was picked to finish seventh in the A-Sun Conference Preseason Coaches' poll after returning nine starters from last year's 5-10-2 team. The Spartans do possess one of the most dangerous attacking players in the league in junior forward Dave Musambi, who ranks tied for third in the A-Sun with nine points on four goals and one assist.
East Tennessee State played a very challenging non-conference slate, but it paid off as the Bucs enter play this weekend with a 2-3-3 record and a No. 50 ranking in the RPI. ETSU has already collected results over several big time opponents in 2013 including No. 31 Winthrop, No. 33 UAB and No. 45 Memphis. Amazingly, the Bucs have enjoyed all their non-conference success despite only scoring three goals thus far in 2013. Defense has been the ETSU calling card this season, as it leads the A-Sun and ranks 52nd in the nation allowing just 1.00 goals per game.
Last Time Out
CLINTON, S.C. – The Mercer men's soccer team built up an early lead and managed to hold on for a 2-1 road win over Presbyterian on Saturday evening at Edens Field.
Mercer (2-7) out-shot Presbyterian (2-5) 14-8 overall and held a 6-4 edge in corner kicks to put an end to a three-game losing streak.
The Bears got things started offensively in the 31st minute of the contest when sophomore David Murtaugh headed home a cross from senior Ehjayson Henry to go up 1-0.
With the score still 1-0 coming out of halftime, sophomore Juan Jose Morales made the tally 2-0 Mercer when he collected a rebound and slid home a shot past Presbyterian goalkeeper Tanner Osborne in the 53rd minute of play.
Bears goalkeeper Greg Ranjitsingh made five saves on the evening to become just the fifth goalkeeper in Mercer program history to eclipse 200 saves for their career in the Orange and Black.
- Mercer is a perfect 5-0-0 in A-Sun Conference openers under sixth-year head coach Brad Ruzzo, including last year's 2-1 triumph on the road over ETSU.