JOHNSON CITY, TN- Backed by a goal in the 31st minute by freshman defender Joe Pickering (East Sussex, England) on senior night, the ETSU men’s soccer team went on to shutout UNCG at home 1-0 on Tuesday for its eighth shutout of the year and clinched a bye into the semifinals of the SoCon Tournament.
With the win, ETSU at least claims the second seed in the SoCon Men’s Tournament, which is hosted by UNCG. But first, the Bucs will face Mercer on Saturday, Oct. 29 in Macon, Ga. to decide who the regular season champs will be. Mercer can tie or win on Saturday, since they have a one-point advantage over the Bucs, but ETSU needs to travel to Mercer and defeat the Bears to claim the regular season crown.
Also on Tuesday night, the Bucs celebrated senior night with ten Buccaneers playing their final year at ETSU: Joao Ramalho (Monte Santo, Brazil), Charlie Machell (Newcastle, England), Warren Austin (Kingsport, Tenn.), Keegan Sanders (Kennesaw, Ga.), Yera Sissoko (Troyes, France), Mitchell Cecatiello (Pascagoula, Miss.), Troy Dolmetsch (Northville, Mich.) and Richmond Taylor (Hendersonville, Tenn.).
The win tonight over UNCG is the fifth match the Bucs have won or tied (3-0-2) in head-to-head matches with UNCG in program history. The Bucs also remain undefeated all-time at Summers-Taylor against the Spartans, and ETSU evened the all-time record with UNCG at 4-4-3.
With the 1-0 shutout, ETSU has captured eight shutouts this year and finished the season undefeated at home (7-0-1) with six of the eight shutouts coming at Summers-Taylor Stadium. The Buccaneer defense, Chase Clack (Memphis, Tenn.), Ben Holt (Knoxville, Tenn.), Jonny Sutherland (Chester, U.K.), Austin, Sissoko and Pickering, have been pivotal players this season in claiming the eight shutouts.
With the win, ETSU moves to 10-4-2 overall and 6-1-2 in the conference, whereas UNCG falls to 9-6-2 overall and 5-4 in the SoCon. This is the first time since 2013 the Bucs have won double-digit matches. The last time ETSU won at least ten matches, the Bucs won the Atlantic-Sun Tournament and made it to the NCAA Tournament.
Courtesy: East Tennessee State Athletics