GREENSBORO, N.C. – The sixth-seeded Belmont Bruins travel to take on the No. 3 seed ETSU Buccaneers in the Southern Conference Championship quarterfinals Friday. Kickoff is slated for 12 p.m. CT at the UNCG Soccer Stadium, as the Bruins look to advance to the SoCon semifinals for the first time in program history.
The Buccaneers hold the all-time series advantage over Belmont by a 4-2-0 margin, as Friday's tilt comes as the first-ever SoCon postseason and neutral site meeting between the two programs.
The former Atlantic Sun rivals have clashed twice in SoCon play in the last two years, as ETSU logged a 1-0 double-overtime victory over the Bruins (4-11-2, 2-4-1 SoCon) just 11 days ago on Oct. 29 at E.S. Rose Park. Juniors Marius Svendsen and Esteban Lestido led Belmont with a combined four shots and two shots on goal in its last meeting with ETSU.
LAST TIME OUT: The No. 6 seed Bruins cruised past the seventh-seeded VMI Keydets 4-0 in the opening round of the SoCon Championship at E.S. Rose Park Tuesday night. With the victory, the Bruins advanced to the quarterfinals of the postseason tournament for the second-consecutive season.
SCOUTING ETSU: The Buccaneers are led by second-year head coach David Casper, who helped ETSU to an 8-7-2 (4-2-0 SoCon) record this year. Casper previously spent time as an assistant at Kentucky and NCAA Division I program Saint Francis. The Buccaneers notched back-to-back wins in the regular season to secure the third seed in the 2019 postseason.
In total, ETSU has been shutout in six of its seven losses this season. The Buccaneers will be playing their first contest of the postseason on Friday, as they logged a 2-1 victory over Wofford at home last Saturday to round out the regular season.
The freshman duo of Hauk Andreas Fossen and Kieran Richards lead ETSU with 30 of the team's 59 points on the year. Sophomore goalkeeper Josh Perryman has 60 saves in the 2019 season and holds the second-best goals against average in the SoCon this season (0.95).
POISED BETWEEN THE POSTS: Sophomore netminder Cameron Petty corralled four saves against the Keydets on Tuesday, tying his previous career high that he set against UNC Greensboro on Oct. 15. He also logged his first-career clean sheet in the 4-0 victory. Petty is now tied for the fourth-best goals against average in the conference this season (1.53).
BOMBS AWAY: Belmont fired a season high 23 shots and 13 shots on goal in its rout of VMI, as junior forward Jordan Dozzi logged a career-best eight shots and six shots on goal.
UP NEXT: The winner of the quarterfinals match will advance to the semifinals for a tilt with the second-seeded UNC Greensboro in Greensboro, N.C. The match time is slated for Sunday, Nov. 10 at 5 p.m. CT.