LAKELAND, FL – For the second time in the span of four days, Moccasin Field was the site of a matchup of nationally-ranked Division II men's soccer teams, but No. 8 Florida Southern was on the wrong end of a 4-0 decision to No. 18 Nova Southeastern on Saturday night. The Sharks (9-2, 5-1 Sunshine State Conference) scored two goals in each half, and in each instance, less than a minute apart, dropping the Moccasins to 9-2 overall and 4-2 in the SSC.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- The first five minutes saw each team with one outstanding score chance, but neither could capitalize. For the Sharks, it came 20 seconds into the game when Sebastian Loibl received a thru ball down the center of the field but had his shot kick-saved by goalkeeper Benny Yusufoglu. The Moccasins then earned a corner kick five minutes into the contest, and a header by Tobias Rodriguez Brindicci was tantalizingly close but over the bar.
- Those were the only shots in the game until Nova Southeastern scored its first goal at the 18:55 mark when Aleks Berg won the ball in the attacking third for the Sharks and sent a cross to the far side of the box for Loibl. The SSC scoring leader converted on his second shot of the night, giving the Sharks a 1-0 with his 10th goal of the season.
- Less than a minute later the Sharks scored again, this time with Loibl on the assist, sending a cross from deep in the right corner for a header by Darwin Lom at the back post.
- The Moccasins nearly drew within one in the 43rd minute, but Nova Southeastern goalkeeper Brian Lopez stopped a blast by Luis Bautista at close range to keep it a 2-0 game.
- The Sharks scored their final two goals in the opening minutes of the second half, with Bergs picking up his second assist of the night on Bradley Fountain's goal in the 48th minute before scoring himself in the 49th. Bergs later hit the post in the 51st minute and had another shot saved by Yusufoglu in the 52nd.
- The Moccasins put together a series of threats after that included a near miss by Julian Jordan-Canosa in the 67th minute and saves by Lopez in the 74th and 78th minutes against Ian McIntosh and Foster Appiah.
- Lopez and Yusufoglu each made three saves in the game, with Nova Southeastern out-shooting Florida Southern 12-8.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
- Florida Southern and Nova Southeastern both set or equaled school records for longest winning streaks this year. The Moccasins started the season by winning nine in a row, and the Sharks reeled off eight straight wins after losing their season opener.
- Tonight was the third time this year Florida Southern played in a game featuring two nationally ranked teams. Prior to this year that had happened only four times, twice in 1997 and twice in 1999. Nova Southeastern was also the fourth top-25 team the Mocs have played this season, with the Mocs going 2-2 in those games.
- Coming into the game, Nova Southeastern and Florida Southern had two of the top three highest scoring tandems in the SSC. Sebastian Loibl and Darwin Lom had combined for 13 goals and 38 points for Nova to rank first on that list, and James Meehan and Christoph Gums had combined for 12 goals and 29 points to rank third. Sitting in between them were Florida Tech's Per Henrik Nag and Luca Campanini, who had 13 goals and 30 points prior to Saturday.
Florida Southern will play its final non-conference match of the season on Monday when it hosts Mary University from North Dakota at 7 p.m.