DAYTONA BEACH, FL – After scoreless first half with almost no scoring chances for either team, Florida Southern erupted for four goals in the second half, with junior defender Claus Lehland assisting two of them, as the Moccasins downed Embry-Riddle 4-0 Saturday night. The win moves Florida Southern's overall record to 11-2, and its Sunshine State Conference record to 5-2. It also puts Florida Southern on the verge of clinching a spot in the SSC Tournament pending other results Saturday night.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- The first half was a defensive struggle fought mostly in the midfield with only four total shots taken before the break. Each goalkeeper had to make only one save in the first half and was never seriously challenged. Of the four shots taken, three came in the first 18 minutes, two of them headers by Florida Southern off corner kicks. The first of those, by James Meehan, went wide, and the second, by Daniel Moore was too high. The only shot for the Eagles (2-7-1, 1-6-1) in the early going came from Ross Dickinson in the ninth minute.
- After Moore's header in the 18th minute, neither team had another shot until the final minute of the first half. That came via free kick from just outside the box when Georg Michajlov put one on target that was saved by Gudmundur Sigurbjornsson.
- After the quiet first half, both teams had scoring chances in the first two minutes of the second. The Mocs then broke the deadlock in the 49th minute off the foot of Pablo Gallo Arias. The scoring play was initiated by Luis Bautista in the midfield as the redshirt freshman intercepted a pass and got it quickly out to Meehan on the left flank. Taking it into the corner, Meehan's cross-field pass found Arias coming from the right flank and the senior midfielder sent his shot into the upper left corner of the net for his third goal of the season.
- The Moccasins did not wait long to score again, putting their second goal on the board on their next shot in the 55th minute. This one came on a free kick with Moore doing the scoring honors. The kick was taken by Lehland just across the midfield stripe on the Embry-Riddle side of the field, with Moore re-directing a header into the net from the top of the box. It was Moore's second goal of the season.
- Embry-Riddle went to the bench for a new goalkeeper after the second Florida Southern goal, and the Moccasins tested Will Hanisch almost right away. He came up with saves in the 60th and 61st minutes but was unable to stop the next shot in the 63rd. That one came from Meehan after receiving a long downfield pass from Lehland and taking it into the box for his team-leading eighth goal of 2018.
- The Moccasins finished their scoring in the 76th minute when Martin Wall embracing the net for the first time in his career. Wall was making his season debut and was on the receiving end of a pass from Henry Phillips, with Michajlov initially winning the ball for Florida Southern in the back third.
- Benny Yusufoglu had to make only two saves in recording his ninth shutout of the season as the Moccasins out-shot the Eagles 13-7 with Lehland, Moore, Foster Appiah, and Jake Starling the starting backs once again.
- Hanisch made five saves for Embry-Riddle and Sigurbjornsson made two.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
- Lehland is the first Florida Southern defender with two assists in one game since Ryan Wolfe in 2007. Wolfe assisted the final two goals in 3-1 win over Thomas (GA) on September 7 of that season.
- Saturday night marked the third time this year the Moccasins have scored at least four goals in the second half. They did so in a 6-0 win over Trinity Baptist and a 5-0 win over Montevallo.
- Florida Southern is now two shy of the school record for wins in a season, which was set in 1999 under Kris Pahl when the Moccasins went 13-5-2. This is the seventh season in which the Moccasins have won 10 or more games and the fifth with at least 11. That last time the Mocs reached this level was in back-to-back 12-5 seasons in 2000 and 2001, which also occurred under Pahl.
- The five wins in Sunshine State Conference play equals the most Florida Southern has ever had, matching their total from last year when they were also 5-2 after seven conference games.
- Since Embry-Riddle joined the SSC as a provisional member, Florida Southern has won all four meetings. The Moccasins are now 16-7-1 all-time against the Eagles.
- The ninth shutout by Yusufoglu and Florida Southern ranks second in the team record book for both an individual goalkeeper and the team. Cliff Dixon and the Moccasins had 11 in 1997. It was also Yususfoglu 11th career shutout, which ties him for second in team history with Cole Clingerman, who played at Florida Southern from 2013-16. Dixon is the only one ahead of him now with 17 from 1995-97.
- Yusufoglu came into the weekend tied for second in the nation with eight individual shutouts, one behind Alex Brems of Cal State-Los Angeles. The Moccasins were tied for fourth in team shutouts, four behind Charleston (WV).
Florida Southern hosts Eckerd College on Wednesday night at 7 p.m.