Lone goal brings third conference win

Spinnaker

The UNF Ospreys men’s soccer team defeated the Mercer University Bears 1-0 Oct. 11 with sloppy field conditions at Hodges Stadium, giving the Ospreys their third Atlantic Sun Conference victory of the year.

The game was a must-win for the Ospreys (6-6-0, 3-1-0 A-Sun) and great opportunity to bounce back from a disappointing 3-0 loss to Campbell Oct. 9, UNF head coach Ray Bunch said. Although it didn’t rain, the field was covered in mud and water from the days prior, Bunch said.

“In these conditions, it’s such a heavy field that it really zaps you, and I think it showed in the second half,” Bunch said. “We were just trying to get the ball in wide and get some crosses.”

UNF’s lone goal came just more than six minutes after play began.

Sophomore forward Adam O’Neill served a cross from the left side of the box to sophomore forward Akil DeFreitas, who headed the ball past Mercer goalkeeper David Bird from five yards out.

The goal was DeFreitas’ team-high fifth overall and third game-winning goal of the season.

The assist was O’Neill’s first of the year.

UNF controlled the ball most of the match with 15 shots and five on goal, but Mercer (1-7-3, 1-2-1 A-Sun) put together several threatening runs in the second half including 13 shots and nine corner kicks.

“First half we played very well, but in the second half it seemed like we tired out a little bit,” Bunch said. “It wasn’t pretty soccer, and that’s not what we like to play, but sometimes the conditions dictate that.”

The Bears out shot the Ospreys by one, but only four of their 16 shots were on goal.

Ospreys’ senior goalkeeper Tony Restino had three saves, all coming in the second half.

“The whole team played well tonight,” DeFreitas said. “The field was a little difficult to work through, but it was a good effort by the boys.”

UNF will travel to Florida Gulf Coast University Oct. 17 to take on the Eagles.

E-mail Josh Salman at [email protected]