Top-20 Soccer Moments at Barnett Field, #8 (October 10, 2015)

Top-20 Soccer Moments at Barnett Field, #8 (October 10, 2015)

Despite some close calls through the years, Lynn University managed to keep its perfect record against Florida Southern intact all the way into the current decade. The Knights won the first 16 meetings between the two schools, and there were some painful losses for the Moccasins along the way. The Mocs finally broke that streak in 2010 with a 2-1 victory over the 15th-ranked Knights in Boca Raton, but a home win was more elusive. That took until October 10, 2015, when the defending national champion Knights came to Lakeland as title contenders again but left with a 1-0 loss to the Moccasins.

The season had not started especially well for Florida Southern, as the Mocs went 1-6 over the first half of the season and scored just three goals against a schedule that included heavyweights such as Lees-McRae (NC), Young Harris (GA) and Palm Beach Atlantic, as well as an undefeated Eckerd squad that had reached the national rankings too. But the Mocs began turning their season around on the final day of September with a 1-0 win over Tampa, and they followed that with a 5-0 blasting of eventual SSC tournament champion Rollins a week later, the most they had ever scored against the Tars. That sent Florida Southern into its annual match with Lynn with even more confidence.

The Knights, as expected, were the prohibitive favorites to win the conference and repeat as national champions. They were coming into that Saturday night game 4-1-2 with 26 goals in their first seven games and holding a 12-0 all-time record at Barnett Field. Most of those games, though, had been incredibly close and painful for the Mocs. The Knights had won by a single goal in 1997, '99, and 2001, with the latter a highly controversial 1-0 game in which the Knights nearly had their 24-game winning streak snapped by the Moccasins. The only goal came in the final seconds of the first half on a corner kick that appeared to deflect off the arm of a Lynn player and directly to the goal scorer. The top-ranked Knights had also come back from a two-goal second-half deficit to win in 2005; rallied for a 2-1 win in 2009 on a second-half own goal; and again came back from a halftime deficit with the aid of an own goal in a 3-1 win in 2011. In 2013, the Knights scored two late goals to secure a 3-0 win in a game that was in the balance far longer than that score would indicate.

The 2015 match belonged to Florida Southern, however, with twin brothers Edward and Carl Spansk combining for the only goal. Carl's corner kick from the left side of the field was perfectly placed for Edward to bury a header in the back of the net with 8:12 remaining in the first half. From there, it was the Moccasin defense that took control. With three freshmen and one sophomore on the back line, and junior Cole Clingerman in goal, Florida Southern handed Lynn its first shutout in two years and kept national scoring leader Chris Gellman off the scoresheet for the first time in 25 games.

The defensive line of freshmen center backs Luke Bromley and Daniel Moore, freshman left back Pablo Gallo Arias, and sophomore right back Kevin Davidsson limited Hellman to only a single shot on goal, and Clingerman made five saves. It was the only time the Knights were shut out in a season where they still averaged more than three goals per game.

#20 on the Countdown: October 24, 1958
#19 on the Countdown: September 16, 1999
#18 on the Countdown: September 25, 1980
#17 on the Countdown: October 26, 2013
#16 on the Countdown: September 25, 1978

#15 on the Countdown: October 22, 1988
#14 on the Countdown: September 14, 2003
#13 on the Countdown: November 2, 1963
#12 on the Countdown: September 30, 2009
#11 on the Countdown: September 18, 1973

#10 on the Countdown: October 23, 2010
#9 on the Countdown: September 28, 1999