SPARTANBURG, S.C. – The Southern Conference Men’s Soccer Championship moves to Eugene Stone Soccer Stadium on the campus of Furman University in Greenville, South Carolina, this weekend for the semifinal and final matches, beginning Friday at 3 p.m. Eastern. The top four seeds advanced to the championship weekend, with ETSU, UNCG, Furman and Mercer vying for the tournament title and the league’s automatic bid to the NCAA Men’s Soccer Championship.
Both of Friday’s semifinal matches will air live on the SoCon Digital Network, while Sunday’s championship match, slated for 1 p.m., will be broadcast live on ESPN3.
Tickets for this weekend’s games can be purchased at the stadium entrance beginning one hour prior to each day’s competition. Admission is $5 for adults, $5 for students and $5 for senior citizens. Children 38 inches or under will get in for free and group tickets are available for purchase at a discounted rate.
ETSU, which was unbeaten in conference play (6-0-4), went 9-2-6 overall this season. The Bucs won the regular-season title for the second year in a row, and are searching for the program’s first-ever Southern Conference Championship title. ETSU boasts both the goalkeeper of the year, Jonny Sutherland, and the coach of the year, Bo Oshoniyi, both of whom won the respective awards for the second consecutive year.
Eleven total Bucs earned postseason honors, with five named first-team All-SoCon. ETSU won four of its last five games, tying with Furman and defeating UNCG 2-1 to help secure the No. 1 seed.
With a record of 6-3-1 in conference and 9-7-2 overall, the UNCG Spartans claimed the No. 2 seed in the Southern Conference Championship. UNCG features six players who earned postseason honors, including Leeroy Maguraushe and Nelson Oceano who were selected All-SoCon first team and freshman of the year, respectively.
Furman, the host of the 2017 Southern Conference Men’s Soccer Championship, enters the weekend as the No. 3 seed. The Paladins went 12-4-3, winning four of their last five games. Furman’s Laurence Wyke was named the 2017 SoCon Player of the Year, scoring nine goals from both the defense and midfield positions. The Paladins, who defeated VMI 7-1 in the Southern Conference first round on Saturday, had eight players earn all-conference and all-freshman honors.
The defending SoCon champion, Mercer, earned the No. 4 seed, defeating Wofford 2-1 in the first-round matchup on Saturday. Six Bears earned postseason recognition, including forward Will Bagrou and defender Conner Antley, who were named All-SoCon first team.
The winner of this year’s tournament will receive the SoCon’s automatic bid to the NCAA postseason. The NCAA Selection Show will air on NCAA.com on Monday, Nov. 13, at 1 p.m. Eastern.
2017 SoCon Men’s Soccer Championship
First Round, Saturday, Nov. 4 Campus sites (at higher seeds)
Match 1: No 4 Mercer 2, No. 5 Wofford 1
Match 2: No. 3 Furman 7, No. 6 VMI 1
Semifinals, Friday, Nov. 10 Greenville, S.C.
Match 3: No. 1 ETSU vs. No. 4 Mercer, 3:30 p.m. (SDN)
Match 4: No. 2 UNCG vs. No. 3 Furman, 6 p.m. (SDN)
Championship, Sunday, Nov. 12 Greenville, S.C.
Match 5: Match 3 winner vs. Match 4 winner, 1 p.m. (ESPN3)