Ospreys split A-Sun games, still alive to make playoffs

Spinnaker

The UNF men’s soccer team split another pair of Atlantic Sun games, first beating Mercer University 2-1 Oct. 21, before dropping a 1-0 decision to Campbell University Oct. 23.

The win over Mercer did not come easy. In fact, the fans inside Hodges Stadium were treated to extra soccer when the Ospreys and Bears took a 1-1 score into overtime. The tie was broken just two minutes into overtime when junior defenseman Theo Fulger ripped a shot past Mercer goalkeeper Brett Petricek from 15 feet outside the penalty box to give the Ospreys the win.

“It was overtime, and we needed the goal,” Fulger said. “Everybody was pushing up, and I had the time and the space to just push it, and I took the shot.”

The Ospreys would have won the game in regulation had it not been for one slip up late in the second half. An own goal got past UNF’s junior goalkeeper Andrew Calise with just 15 minutes left to play.

Mercer had crossed the ball in from the left side and in an attempt to clear the ball out of bounds, freshman defenseman Patrik Lippe headed the ball into the Osprey net to tie the score at 1-1.

“Patrik just tried to do the best he could to clear the ball and unfortunately it went in the back of our net but you know he didn’t do anything wrong,” Calise said. “It just happens.”

The Ospreys got their first goal of the night from senior captain Adam O’Neill on a penalty kick in the 38th minute. The goal was O’Neill’s third of the season.

The game against Mercer was more than just a soccer game. It was also in support of the Coaches vs. Cancer Foundation. Players from both teams wore pink wrist bands, and coaches fashioned pink collared shirts.

“Obviously anything that can help to defeat that wicked disease, we’re all behind,” Bunch said. “Hopefully as the years go by it gets to the extent to where it’s like basketball, so we’ll be able to bring more money in because every dollar helps.”

The match against Campbell was a different story. The Ospreys never seemed to get anything going offensively. The game was delayed for almost around an hour because the referees got the time wrong, so they were late in arriving to Hodges Stadium.

Campbell’s forward Khalil Johnson scored the only goal of the match in the 41st minute to give the Camels the win.

“Right from the very beginning to the very end, we never really put it together,” Bunch said. “I don’t know what it was. I don’t know if the delay hurt us. I mean it’s the same for both sides. I do think we got tired. The first to go when you’re tired is your decision making. It’s disappointing.”

The loss put a damper on the Osprey’s “Senior Night,” which honored two seniors in UNF’s last home game of the season. O’Neill and fellow senior Sebastian Bianchi were honored before the game with plaques for their time spent with the Ospreys.

“It’s sad,” O’Neill said. “I’ve been here four years and enjoyed every year. I’ve got some good memories of the place. It’s a bit surreal really to think that I’m never going to be playing here again. I’ve still got three games left for UNF, so I’ve just got to make sure I give 100 percent.”

The Ospreys, who are still in contention to make the A-Sun tournament, look to get one step closer to playoffs when they travel to DeLand to take on Stetson Oct. 29 at 7 p.m.