Stetson Men's Soccer Clinches Postseason Play, Beats Jacksonville

Stetson Men's Soccer Clinches Postseason Play, Beats Jacksonville

DELAND, Fla. ( – Hatter men's soccer accomplished two portions of their season goals on Saturday, they beat Jacksonville, 2-1, Saturday night at Southern Oak Stadium. The other was lock up the seventh consecutive postseason bid.

Head coach Emmett Rutkowski has coached all season that the postseason is not the goal, it's a step to the goal of an ASUN title. While that journey is still many steps away, the longest journeys can still begin with accomplishing a single step which was taken tonight.

The game was highly limited on chances with a total of 17 shots being shared by the teams, nine on target. Goalkeeper Owen Jack made five of the game's six saves. Jack sits 15 saves clear of any competition in the ASUN saves category.

Stetson opened the scoring in the 32nd minute. Jacksonville's goalkeeper Jabari Gray knocked a clearance over the top that left back Jacob Lenhard headed forward to Luis Lara. Lara flipped the ball inside to Connor Bates who one touched the ball into space for Lara to run onto and press forward. Lara sent a pass centrally for Andres Mata. Mata shifted his momentum to fake out a centerback before running onto the ball and blasting it toward net. The goalkeeper dove to stop the effort as a defender slid to stop the strike. The ball struck the defender and effectively chipped the goalkeeper. Mata's original shot was on frame, so the Stetson midfielder still recorded the goal at 31:59 in the first half. That score would hold through halftime.

Fifteen minutes into the second half, SU doubled the advantage. The Hatters earned back-to-back corners. On the second go round, Charles Ahl's service and Mata's run lined up as the midfielder flicked his head and knocked the ball toward the corner's near post with Gray's momentum carrying him the opposite direction then losing the ball as he passed behind Lara with the ball going into the net between the goalkeeper and the post defender, 2-0 Hatters at the 58:48 mark.

In scramble mode, the Dolphins made the final five minutes interesting after Ed Port sent a rocket into the right lower corner with 5:35 left on the clock, but Stetson held onto the 2-1 win and with North Florida losing to Lipscomb, SU clinched postseason play.

A nine-day gap between games will allow Stetson men's soccer to recover until closing out the season with Florida Gulf Coast on November 1, at the ATC; kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m., with live streaming via Hattervision YouTube.

ASUN Conference, Atlanta - the only DI conference headquartered in the ATL, our footprint's primary media, sports, business, transportation and cultural hub
The ASUN, a Division I conference member of the NCAA, boasts a membership of institutions that share visionary leadership, bold ambition and creative innovation. As a nimble adaptive conference, unafraid to blaze a national pathway for better service to our student-athletes, teams, and institutions, the ASUN has a proud history of firsts, national academic and athletic achievements and a conference culture that walks the walk with its four ASUN Beams. Students First! Rise. Connect. Impact. #ASUNBuilt by Austin Peay (Clarksville, Tenn.), Bellarmine (Louisville, Ky.), Central Arkansas (Conway, Ark.), Eastern Kentucky (Richmond, Ky.), FGCU (Fort Myers, Fla.), Jacksonville (Fla.), Jacksonville State (Jacksonville, Ala.), Kennesaw State (Ga.), Liberty (Lynchburg, Va.), Lipscomb (Nashville, Tenn.), North Alabama (Florence, Ala.), North Florida (Jacksonville, Fla.), Queens (Charlotte, N.C.) and Stetson (DeLand, Fla.).

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