For the second year in a row, the Florida Southern men’s soccer team will be in Boca Raton to start the Sunshine State Conference Tournament with a quarterfinal match at Lynn University. Kickoff for Monday night’s match is 6 p.m. The Moccasins are again the No. 6 seed, and the Knights are again the No. 3 seed. The winner advances to the semifinal round to face No. 2 seed Barry on Thursday in Miami Shores at 4:30 p.m. The SSC has adopted a slightly different format this year with the higher seed hosting every game.
In 2007, under second-year head coach Ben Strawbridge, the Florida Southern women’s soccer team had a breakthrough season that saw them go 12-7-1, doubling their win total from the previous year while reaching double-digit wins for the first time in team history. In a cruel ending, though, the Moccasins were denied their first trip to the NCAA Tournament when, despite being ranked high enough to receive an at-large bid, they were bumped by an automatic qualifier from the Gulf South Conference that was ranked below them. The following year, however, the Moccasins did get that trip to NCAA postseason play, and they all but secured it on October 21, 2008, with a 1-0 win over Tampa.
In 2010, the Florida Southern men’s soccer team was in the running for a bid to the NCAA Tournament all the way until the final week of the season before a loss at Florida Tech in the final game of the season ended those hopes. Nevertheless, the Moccasins had put together a potent offense that returned largely intact in 2011, and finished eighth in the nation that year by averaging more than 2½ goals per game for the second year in a row. Hopes for the postseason were again high, but the mid-season schedule was unkind as losses to Palm Beach Atlantic, Lynn, and Rollins in the span of nine days (three teams that combined for 36 wins) offset a 4-1 start. The Mocs did rebound, however, with another strong run to end the season, culminating with a 4-1 win over 5th-ranked Rollins College, the highest ranked team the Mocs have ever beaten on their home field.
Men’s Soccer Wraps up Regular Season with 3-0 Loss to No. 13 Barry and Will Head to Lynn for SSC Tournament Quarterfinals
LAKELAND, FLA. – Playing their sixth nationally ranked opponent this year, Florida Southern wrapped up the regular season Tuesday night with a 3-0 loss to No. 13 Barry, which will send the Moccasins (12-4, 6-4 Sunshine State Conference) into the SSC Tournament as the number six seed with a quarterfinal match at Lynn on Monday, October 29.
WEST PALM BEACH, FLA. – A free kick early in the second half turned into a goal for defender Thomas Spear as 3rd-ranked Palm Beach Atlantic withstood a strong attack by Florida Southern for a 1-0 win over the Moccasins Saturday night.
The recent and continuing success of the 2018 men’s soccer team has drawn a lot of comparisons to past Moccasin teams, including one in particular. In 1997, the Moccasins were in their fifth season under former Florida Southern goalkeeper Kris Pahl, who by the end of his career would be involved in more games as a player, assistant coach or head coach than anyone else in the history of Florida Southern soccer, 357 to be exact. The Moccasins had been hovering right around the .500 mark for a few seasons prior to 1997, but it was that year in which they took the next step forward and began the greatest five-year run the program has ever had. From 1997-2001, the Mocs won 12 or more games four times, had three seasons allowing less than one goal per match, and became fixtures in the South Region rankings with many of those weeks in the national rankings as well. It was on October 25, 1997, that Florida Southern broke a mark that had stood for 25 years, setting a new school record for wins with a resounding 8-0 victory over Carson-Newman.
INDIANAPOLIS – The NCAA has released its first regional rankings of the 2018 season, and the Florida Southern men’s soccer team is No. 5 in the South. The rankings are used in the selection process for the NCAA Tournament in November, with four teams allocated to the South Region. The champions of the Sunshine State Conference and Gulf South Conference, as determined by their respective conference tournaments, each receive automatic bids, with the remaining two spots filled by at-large teams determined by regional ranking.
LAKELAND, FL – After conceding a goal in the 28th minute that gave Eckerd a 1-0 lead, Florida Southern needed only 32 seconds to tie the score, less than four minutes to take the lead itself, and not even the remainder of the first half to turn the game into a rout. The scoring continued well into the second half too as seven different Moccasins scored goals in a record-tying 7-1 win over the Tritons.
Ties are a way of life in soccer, though they often drive American sports fans out of their mind. It’s not that they don’t happen in other sports, but they’re so rare as to be noteworthy. Donovan McNabb once famously admitted he didn’t know NFL games could end in a tie, and the Florida Southern baseball team even played to a scoreless draw in 2018 at Mount Olive. In soccer, they happen frequently, and if a college postseason game ends in a draw, a series of five penalty kicks are used to determine which team advances to the next round, even though the official results still list it as a tie. By 2012, the Florida Southern women’s soccer team had been through that scenario four times in the previous four seasons, and come out on the wrong end in all four. On October 30, 2012, the Moccasins ended that hex, however, by “beating” Lynn in penalty kicks in the quarterfinals of the Sunshine State Conference Tournament.
MELBOURNE, Fla. - Coming off two shutout wins last week, Florida Southern’s Claus Lehland is the Sunshine State Conference Defensive Player of the Week, bringing to four the total number of award winners this season from the Florida Southern men’s soccer team. The junior defender from Bergen, Norway played a vital role in the Moccasins’ 1-0 non-conference win over Mary (N.D.) to start the week before they finished it with a 4-0 win at Embry-Riddle in SSC play.