LAKELAND, FLA. – The Florida Southern College men's soccer team has qualified for the Sunshine State Conference tournament as the sixth seed, and will travel to West Palm Beach on Monday, November 11, to face third seeded Palm Beach Atlantic at 7:00 p.m. in a Quarterfinal Round match. Tickets can be purchased on site for $5 for adults, $3 for seniors, and free for students and anyone under 18 years old.
This is the third time in as many seasons that the Moccasins have qualified for the postseason, and seventh overall appearance. This is only the second year that PBA has been eligible for the SSC postseason, and the first time these two schools will have met.
No. 6 Florida Southern (5-5-5; 3-3-4 SSC) needed a win in the season finale to qualify for the postseason, and claimed a 2-1 victory over Saint Leo. On the season, the Mocs have scored 20 goals while allowing 22. The top goal scorer this season is junior James Meehan, who has scored all five of his goals in his last three games played. Junior Edu Capote, senior Eneko Lasheras, and senior Jacob Ling-Vannerus have each added three. Junior Alberto Diaz leads the team with three assists. In goal, grad student Philip Faderl is 3-4-4, with a goals against average of 1.40, and a save percentage of .705.
No. 3 Palm Beach Atlantic (12-2-2; 6-2-2 SSC) enters the SSC Tournament on a five-game winning streak. On the season, the Sailfish have scored 41 goals (2.56 goals per game), while allowing just 16 (1.0 goals per game). Senior Cadu Cusatis leads the 'Fish with 10 goals and two assists for 22 points. Classmate Claudio Rivadeneira has scored six goals while adding a team-high seven assists. Sophomore Patrick Nettekoven has been the primary keeper down the stretch, making 20 saves in eight matches played. He owns a 1.23 goals against average and a .714 save percentage. PBA is currently ranked as the No. 3 team in the second NCAA South Region rankings. In the USC national coaches' poll, PBA is ranked seventh in the country, and second in the region.
Top-seeded Lynn and No. 2 Florida Tech earned first round byes in the tournament, and will host Semifinal Round games on Thursday, Nov. 14. The Championship game will take place at the highest remaining seed on Sunday, November 17.
In addition to the No. 3 PBA-No. 6 FSC match, No. 4 Nova Southeastern will host No. 5 Rollins on Monday, November 11.
THE LAST MEETING
Back on September 21, these two teams met in the regular season in Lakeland, with a 1-1 draw as the result. PBA was ranked No. 6 in the country at the time.
In the 44th minute, the Mocs counter-attack paid off. Ling-Vannerus took advantage of a misplay on the PBA back line, setting up a 1 v 1 with the keeper. With PBA's last line of defense charging hard, Ling-Vannerus deftly slid the ball past the keeper and into the lower right corner of the goal.
In the 74th minute, PBA broke through when a left-footed Gian Scalise free-kick found defender Charlie Lewis, whose header beat FSC keeper Phillip Faderl.
PBA leads the all-time series over Southern, 7-1-3. In matches played in West Palm Beach, the Mocs are 0-4-1. The lone FSC win in the series came in 2010, a 2-1 victory, in a match played in Lakeland.
SSC TOURNAMENT HISTORY
Florida Southern has never won the SSC Tournament. PBA, meanwhile, has won the tournament title once- last year.
The SSC has run a postseason tournament for each of the last 17 seasons, with this being the seventh appearance for the Mocs. Florida Southern holds a 2-6 record in the SSC Championships, having reached the Semifinals only twice- in 2003 and 2006. In 2003, FSC defeated Rollins in penalty kicks to advance, and in '06, defeated Nova Southeastern, 2-1, in the Quarters. The Mocs have been eliminated by Barry three times, Lynn twice, and Rollins once.
QUOTING HEAD COACH JASON CARLSON
The postseason is a different monster. We expect a great game out of two good teams. We match up well against PBA, and they'll be ready to play. I'm confident in our preparation, and in our players. This should be a fun match to watch.