LakePoint, Ga. – The 2016 ASUN Conference Men's Soccer Championship continues Saturday night with the first of two semifinals. In Fort Myers, Fla., No. 2 FGCU hosts No. 3 Lipscomb live on ESPN3, while on Sunday night the top-seeded North Florida Ospreys take on cross-town rivals Jacksonville live on ASUN.TV.
All four teams look to advance to next weekend's ASUN Championship Final with an automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament on the line. The Ospreys are the defending ASUN Champions and earned the regular season title this year.
#2 FGCU vs. #3 Lipscomb | Saturday, Nov. 5th 7 p.m. ET | ESPN3
#2 vs. #3 Seed All-Time: 8-3-3
Last Match: Lipscomb 1, FGCU 1 (Oct. 29th, 2016; Nashville, Tenn.)
#2 FGCU (12-3-2; 4-1-1)
All-Time Record in ASUN Championship: 6-2-0
No. 2 Seeds in ASUN Championship: 20-6-4
Last Time in ASUN Championship: 2015; Semifinal
ASUN Championship Titles: 2014, 2012, 2011
- FGCU is looking for its fourth ASUN Championship title in the past six years. The Eagles' six ASUN Championship victories are tied with North Florida for most among current league teams.
- The Eagles have been the No. 2-seeded team on one other occasion in ASUN Championship history. In 2014, the Eagles went 2-0-0 in that Championship and won the title on the road in Nashville.
- Offense has been the calling card for FGCU all season long. The Eagles lead the ASUN with 52 goals scored, 23 more goals than the next ASUN league team. FGCU's 3.06 goals per game average is the highest in the nation entering this weekend's matches. In 14 of 17 matches this year, FGCU has scored two or more goals.
- 2016 ASUN Player of the Year, Albert Ruiz leads the nation in goals with 17. The junior forward from Barcelona, Spain has broken the FGCU single-season record for goals (17) and points (39). The 17 goals are the most in the ASUN since 2005.
- FGCU has posted 146 total points entering the ASUN Championship, the most in the nation. The Eagles are the first team to score 100 or more points since 2012. It's the most points in a single season dating back to 2006.
#3 Lipscomb (10-5-2; 3-2-1)
All-Time Record in ASUN Championship: 6-8-1
No. 3 Seeds in ASUN Championship: 16-13-5
Last Time in ASUN Championship: 2015; Semifinals
Best ASUN Championship Finish: Semifinals (2007-08, 2010, 2012-15)
- Lipscomb advanced to its fifth consecutive ASUN Championship semifinal with a 3-0 win over Stetson in the first round on Thursday. It was the first shutout win in the ASUN Championship for the Bisons since 2013.
- Ivan Sakou scored his sixth goal of the season for the Bisons in the win vs. Stetson. His goal scoring has been a good omen for the Bisons. Lipscomb's record moved to 6-0 in games that Sakou has been on the score sheet.
- Strike partner and ASUN First Team All-Conference selection, Logan Paynter scored his 10th goal of the season, fifth in the past six games. He continues to move up the Lipscomb single-season charts as his 23 points this year are tied for third-most in a single season. After scoring six goals last year, Paynter now sits on 16 career goals.
- Christopher Zappia earned his first shutout of the season filling in for regular starting keeper Micah Bledsoe. He made three saves to earn the clean sheet against the Hatters. As a team the Bisons have six shutouts, second most in the ASUN this season.
- Lipscomb and FGCU have only faced each other once in the ASUN Championship. The match was also a semifinal in Fort Myers, Fla. back in 2012 and the Bisons fell to the Eagles by the score of 2-1. Lipscomb has never reached the ASUN Championship Final since joining the conference.
#1 North Florida vs. #5 Jacksonville | Sunday, Nov. 6th 7 p.m. ET | ASun.TV
#1 vs. #5 Seeds All-Time: 4-3-0
Last Match: North Florida 1, Jacksonville 0 (Oct. 14th, 2016; Jacksonville, Fla.)
#1 North Florida (9-3-2; 5-0-1)
All-Time Record in ASUN Championship: 6-3-0
No. 1 Seeds in ASUN Championship: 18-10-1
Last Time in ASUN Championship: 2015; Champions
ASUN Championship Titles: 2015
- The Ospreys begin their quest for back-to-back ASUN Championship titles when they host Sunday's semifinal match. The last team to repeat was FGCU back in 2011-12. The Ospreys earned the No. 1 seed for the first time and second-straight regular season title this season.
- Freshman Adrian Nunez has had a breakout first season for the Ospreys this year. He leads the team in goals (7), assists (4) and points (18). Nunez was a unanimous ASUN Freshman of the Year selection by the league's coaches this season and was the only freshman to earn a spot on the First Team All-Conference.
- Senior captain Jay Bolt anchors a defensive unit that only allowed five goals in six conference matches this year. He was crowned Defensive Player of the Year, the first Osprey to earn that league honor. Bolt added three assists offensively this season, two of them coming on game-winning goals. The Jacksonville, Fla. native has now earned league honors in each of his four seasons with the Ospreys.
- Senior midfielder Milan Kovacs, a Second Team All-Conference selection, was the team's second leading scorer in the regular season with six goals. Kovacs has increased his goals and points totals in each of the past three seasons.
- After tying the program's Division I era record for most wins in the regular season (9), the Ospreys coaching staff was honored as ASUN Staff of the Year. It marks the second-straight season that the staff was voted tops in the league.
#5 Jacksonville (7-9-0; 2-4-0)
All-Time Record in ASUN Championship: 6-11-2
No. 5 Seeds in ASUN Championship: 11-16-0
Last Time in ASUN Championship: 2015; First Round
ASUN Championship Titles: 2008
- The Dolphins picked up their first win in the ASUN Championship since the 2010 season, defeating NJIT 2-1. The last time Jacksonville advanced to the ASUN title game was in 2008, when they won the championship.
- Patrick Harding was outstanding in the first round win against NJIT. He finished with eight saves, the second time this season he had eight stops in a single match. His defensive effort in the second half spoiled several good scoring chances for the Highlanders. His eight saves are tied for fifth-most in an ASUN Championship match.
- All-Freshman team selection, Kai Bennett was back amongst the goals for the first time since September 8th. His fifth goal of the season proved to be the game-winning tally against NJIT. It was his first game-winning goal of the season.
- The Dolphins posted their sixth ASUN Championship victory on Friday night. All four semifinalists in this year's ASUN Men's Soccer Championship have exactly six wins in ASUN Championship history, tied for second-most among current ASUN schools.
- Jacksonville dropped the regular season match to North Florida in double overtime, 1-0. The all-time series in this River City Rivalry sits at 10-9-1 in favor of the Dolphins. Jacksonville's last win against the Ospreys came in 2012 at Hodges Stadium, site of Sunday night's ASUN Championship semifinal.