UNF Moves into First with Win Over Stetson

UNF Moves into First with Win Over Stetson

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ASUN Men's Soccer Standings  

JACKSONVILLE – North Florida men's soccer scored two goals within two minutes to take down Stetson to move into a tie for first place in the ASUN standings.

64' | Bryson Smith (Jake HawkerNick Lodovico)
65' | Landen Haig (unassisted)
-Stetson had opportunities in the opening frame.
- The Ospreys' best chance came when Blake Sams started a play up the right side to pass to Nick Lodovico. He then found Landen Haig who had an unfortunate result on a good opportunity as the ball sailed over the crossbar.
- In the second frame, North Florida put on the gas and it paid off. 
- In the 64th minute, Lodovico sent a stellar ball up the sideline to senior Jake Hawker who sprinted inside the box. Hawker slipped the ball to a streaking Bryson Smith who sent it home for the 1-0 advantage. 
- Just over a minute later, North Florida capitalized on a free-kick and the help of the Hatters defense. Stetson tried to clear the ball, but it fell right to Landen Haig's feet who snuck it in on the left side to give UNF the 2-0 lead.
- Stetson had a shot on target that was picked up by Padraic Gilley. The Hatters knocked him to the ground and UNF tried to protect its keeper but was flagged for a foul in the box. The Hatters were then awarded a penalty kick that Sebastian Chalbaud converted to cut the lead.
- The visitors had three more chances as the clock wound down, but Gilley and the Osprey defense poured on the pressure to end any threat.

North Florida | 4-5-2, 3-1-1 ASUN
Stetson | 7-6-2, 3-1-1 ASUN

-It was the first win against the Hatters since 2016.
- North Florida is now tied with Stetson and FGCU at the top of the ASUN. 
- The win snaps a two-game skid and is just the second game this season with two UNF goals.
- Stetson had a 12-8 edge on shots and a slight 4-3 advantage on target.
LJ Estes and Haig led the team with two shots each.

"I first want to give credit to Stetson. They are a good team and had some nice looks. There is a reason they are tied at the top with us. However - It's nice for us to be back at the top of the standings, but our job isn't done. Obviously our bye week is at the end of the season so we have one more game to get it done. We talked about controlling what we can after the NJIT loss and coming out at home, taking care of business and getting three points. This was a must-win game for us if we want to be a team that's at the top of the conference and have a chance at hosting the ASUN tournament. The job isn't done though we have to go to Lipscomb next weekend and get a result."

On the bench and depth...
"We have been talking about our depth all year. I was disappointed a couple weeks ago against Mercer, but tonight the guys who have put in the work and started playing with some consistency, came in off the bench and did some great things. Bryson had been starting most of the season, but tonight he came off the bench and had a goal. It was a great ball from Hawker to Bryson. Plus Landen got his first goal. Nick Lodovico also came in and gave us a spark. His final ball was on, his touch was on. He really played with a lot of passion. I think once we got that goal we believed that we were going to win this game. I am disappointed that we gave up the PK, but at the end of the day, we got a win.

North Florida now looks ahead to its final game of ASUN action as it travels to Lipscomb on Saturday. Game time is set for 8 p.m. in Nashville.