ATLANTA, Ga. - Entering the final day of the regular season, no seeds for the 2019 ASUN Conference Men's Soccer Championship had been locked and one spot was still up for grabs. While Liberty claimed the final tournament spot, it was NJIT that garnered the ASUN Regular Season title and top seed for the championship with its 5-0 shutout against Jacksonville.
In other ASUN Men's Soccer regular-season finales, Lipscomb secured the No. 5 seed with its 1-0 road win at Liberty, while FGCU claimed the No. 2 seed and first-weekend hosting duties with its 4-2 victory over Stetson in DeLand. In non-conference action tonight, North Florida dropped a close 2-1 contest at No. 18 Charlotte.
ASUN Conference Men's Soccer Results - Saturday, Nov. 2
NJIT 5, Jacksonville 0
FGCU 4, Stetson 2
Lipscomb 1, Liberty 0
#18 Charlotte 2, North Florida 1
2019 ASUN Men's Soccer Championship Field
(1) NJIT: The Highlanders, picked seventh in the preseason poll, are the No. 1 seed for the first time in program history and won the league title just one year removed of finishing in seventh in the ASUN standings. NJIT is in the ASUN Championship for the third time in program history and is searching for its first win (0-1-1). A 6-1-1 record over its final eight matches of the season guided the Highlanders to the top seed with four of those six victories being shutouts. Junior forward Rene White leads the conference in shots (4), points (34) and goals (16) entering tournament play. By virtue of earning the No. 1 seed, NJIT earns a first-round bye and faces the winner of No. 4 Stetson vs. No. 5 Lipscomb Sunday at 3 PM at Lubetkin Field at Mal Simon Stadium.
(2) FGCU: FGCU claimed the No. 2 seed for the fourth consecutive season with its 4-2 win at Stetson on the final day of the regular season. The Eagles, 8-3-1 all-time in the ASUN Championship, are four-time champions of the tournament and last won the title in 2016 as the No. 2 seed. In tournament history, the second-seeded team is 22-7-5 with 10 titles in non-divisional tournament play and has won four of the last six trophies. O'Vonte Mullings leads the Eagles with eight goals and 18 points, both of which are ranked second in the ASUN. FGCU earns a bye into the Semifinals and hosts the winner of No. 3 North Florida against No. 6 Liberty Sunday, at 1 PM.
(3) North Florida: North Florida qualified for its seventh consecutive ASUN Championship and eighth all-time after finishing league play with a 3-2-1 (10 points) record. The Ospreys are the No. 3 seed for just the second time and in search of their first victory in tournament play since claiming the title in 2015. In all, North Florida has an even 6-6-0 (.500) all-time record in the championship which is third-best among current ASUN members. As a team, the Ospreys have the best defense in the league allowing only 15 goals on the year with a conference-best 1.04 GAA. In the first round, North Florida meets No. 6 Liberty at the FGCU Soccer Complex in Fort Myers, Fla. Match time is slated for 5 PM.
(4) Stetson: The Hatters clinched their record 24th ASUN Championship berth and will be the No. 4 seed for just the third time in program history with the last being in 2008. Stetson is looking to become the first No. 4 seed to win the tournament and concluded the season with a 3-2-1 mark in the ASUN. The four-seed has advanced to the finals on two separate occasions (2014 & 2015). William Suaut leads the Hatters offensively with eight points this year coming from three goals and two assists while freshman goalie Lute Lillo-Portero has a league-high 65 saves. Stetson faces No. 5 Lipscomb in a rematch of last season's ASUN Championship title match Friday at 7 PM in Newark, N.J.
(5) Lipscomb: Lipscomb, the reigning ASUN Champions, earned the No. 5 seed for the third time in program history and with three wins could become the first fifth-seeded team to win the crown. In the last six championships, a No. 5 seed has advanced to the championship final three times (2013, '16, '17). The Bisons have qualified for their 13th-straight tournament which is the longest active streak among ASUN members. Lipscomb has not lost a match in the ASUN Championship since 2016 and is a combined 4-0-1 during that span. Ruben Pedersen has a team-leading four goals and is tied with Malik Shaheed with eight points. The Bisons battle No. 4 Stetson in first-round action Friday, at 7 PM in Newark, N.J.
(6) Liberty: The Flames secured the final spot in the tournament thanks to NJIT defeating Jacksonville on the final day of the regular season. Liberty, in its second year as an ASUN member, is searching for its first victory after falling in the first round last season as the No. 5 seed. The No. 6 seed has advanced to the ASUN Championship Final match the past two seasons including Lipscomb winning the title in 2017. All-time, the No. 6 seed is 6-17-4 with half of those six wins coming in the last two years. A trio of players leads the Flames with two goals on the season while Seth Clark has a team-leading five points. Liberty battles No. 3 North Florida in the first round Friday in Fort Myers, Fla., at 5 PM.
|ASUN Conference Men's Soccer Standings|
|Team||Points||ASUN Record||Overall Record|
|#3 North Florida*||10||3-2-1||5-7-2|
* - Clinched a berth in the ASUN Championship
^ - Clinched a first-round bye and hosting rights in the ASUN Championship
ABOUT THE ASUN
The ASUN Conference is an NCAA Division I league with nine member institutions committed to Building Winners for Life. The ASUN meets the challenge of maintaining the highest standards in academic and athletic achievement through a true balance between student and athlete. Six ASUN schools reside in Nielsen Top 50 national media markets, and all nine are in top 80 markets. The ASUN includes a blend of the most prestigious and dynamic private and public institutions in the region: Florida Gulf Coast University, Jacksonville University, Kennesaw State University, Liberty University, Lipscomb University, New Jersey Institute of Technology, University of North Alabama, University of North Florida and Stetson University. Bellarmine University in Louisville, Ky., joins the ASUN for the 2020-21 academic year.