SSC Men's Soccer Championship Central
Third-seeded Rollins rolled to its second straight Florida Blue Sunshine State Conference Men's Soccer Championship title on Sunday, downing fourth-seeded Eckerd 3-0.
Friday's semifinals featured a pair of upsets.
Third-seeded Rollins upended second-seeded Tampa 3-1 in the first men's semifinal game. The Tars put three points on the board before UT would notch a scoring tally on its side. RC's Grant Blackhurst started things off for the Tars with a goal in the 27th minute. Philip Schad added to the lead with a goal in the 46th minute. Brett Durrance further extended the Tars' lead shortly thereafter, finding the net in the 52nd minute. Samoda Johnson got the Spartans on the board less than a minute after the Durrance goal, but that was as close at UT would get the rest of the way.
In the second semi, fourth-seeded Eckerd and top-seeded Lynn battled to a scoreless tie after 110 minutes, but the Tritons showed their prowess in the PK shootout - winning by a 5-4 margin - to advance. EC keeper Andrew Hoffer stopped one of Lynn's five penalty kicks, and that was enough to give his team the advantage. The Tritons converted all five of their opportunites, with Matt Duffy, Mark Lee, Nick Jackson, Nick Murawski, and Joe Swindell finding the net in succession.
Eckerd and Rollins will square off for the tournament title on Sunday at 1 p.m. at Lynn's McCusker Sports Complex.
No. 4 Eckerd and No. 5 Saint Leo battled to a scoreless tie after 110 minutes of soccer on a blustery Tuesday in St. Petersburg before the Tritons earned the right to advance with a 5-3 penalty kick shootout advantage. EC keeper Andrew Hoffer was the hero of the match, saving the Lions' second PK attempt to push the Tritons on to the semifinal round. Matt Duffy, Mark Lee, Nick Jackson, Nick Murawaski, and Joe Swindell each converted their PK opportunity to give the Tritons the shootout victory.
Eckerd will next face top-seed and host Lynn on Friday at 2:30 p.m.
In Tuesday's other semifinal, Grant Blackhurst was the hero for No. 3 Rollins, netting two goals to give the Tars the 2-1 victory over No. 6 Florida Tech. Tech got on the board first in the 17th minute when Yannis Pele converted a penalty kick. Blackhurst tied the score at 1-1 with his first goal in the 64th minute. He then drove in the game-winner with time winding down in the 88th minute of action.
Rollins advances to Friday's semifinals to face No. 2 Tampa at 11 a.m. in Boca Raton.
The pairings have been solidified for the 2012 Florida Blue Sunshine State Conference Men’s Soccer Championship. Action will begin with quarterfinals on Tuesday, Oct. 30. The semifinals and finals will be hosted on Friday, Nov. 2, and Sunday, Nov. 4, by Lynn University in Boca Raton, Fla.
Lynn (14-3, 7-1 SSC) secured the No. 1 seed by posting 21 points in its SSC matches. Tampa (10-4-1, 6-2 SSC) claimed the No. 2 seed with 18 points in league play. Both teams will receive a quarterfinal bye.
Rollins (12-3-2, 5-2-1 SSC) earned the No. 3 seed with 16 points and will host No. 6 Florida Tech in Tuesday’s quarterfinal round. The Panthers (10-3-3, 3-3-2) claimed the last spot in the tournament field with 11 points in conference action. The winner of the match between Rollins and Florida Tech will advance to play No. 2 Tampa in Friday’s semifinals.
Eckerd (7-8-2, 4-3-1 SSC) locked up the No. 4 seed by tallying 13 points in SSC play. The Tritons will host Tuesday’s other quarterfinal tilt, with No. 5 Saint Leo traveling to St. Petersburg. The Lions (7-8, 4-4) took the No. 5 seed with 12 points thanks to a 1-0 win over Nova Southeastern on Saturday evening. The winner of Tuesday’s match between Eckerd and Saint Leo will advance to face top-seeded Lynn in Friday’s other semifinal contest.
2012 FLORIDA BLUE SUNSHINE STATE CONFERENCE MEN’S SOCCER CHAMPIONSHIP
Quarterfinals – Tuesday, October 30
No. 4 Eckerd 0, No. 5 Saint Leo 0 (2OT) - EC advances with 5-3 PK victory
No. 3 Rollins 2, No. 6 Florida Tech 1
Semifinals – Friday, November 2 (Hosted by Lynn) | Host Site
No. 3 Rollins 3, No. 2 Tampa 1
No. 4 Eckerd 0, No. 1 Lynn 0 (2OT) - EC advances with 5-4 PK victory
Finals – Sunday, November 4 (Hosted by Lynn) | Host Site
No. 3 Rollins 3, No. 4 Eckerd 0
Grant Blackhurst, Rollins (Most Outstanding Player)
Keneil Baker, Rollins
Walker Hume, Rollins
Brett Durrance, Rollins
Mark Biddinger, Rollins
Nick Jackson, Eckerd
Nick Murawski, Eckerd
Matt Duffy, Eckerd
Andrew Hoffer, Eckerd
Brian Fekete, Tampa
AB Magnusson, Lynn