MARSHALL, Texas – Changing the culture in the men’s soccer program East Texas Baptist University will be making their second trip to the American Southwest Conference tournament under first year head coach Paul Grant. It is the first trip since 1999 for ETBU, when they won the East division championship, but lost to Hardin-Simmons 3-2 in overtime.
“We’re excited,” said head coach Paul Grant, when asked about his reaction to making the tournament. “For the players, the work and the grind they put in, to be rewarded means, I think we are definitely headed in the right direction.”
ETBU finished the regular season with a record of 4-7-1 overall and 3-5-2 in the ASC, and will be the number five seed in the tournament. ETBU had a shooting percentage of .117 and a shots-on-goal percentage of .453 and they averaged 1.62 goals-per-game and 13.8 shots-per-game. They held opponents to .135 shooting, .478 in shots-on-goal percentage, 2.54 goals-per-game and 18.8 shots-per-game.
Peter Fitzsimmons and Christian Garcia were the leading goal scorers on the season, each netting five goals on the season. Cody Hopson played the majority of the minutes in goal, making 61 saves and posting a 1.81 GAA.
ETBU’s opponent in the first round of the playoffs, on Thursday at 11 a. m. in Abilene, will be Louisiana College. LC beat ETBU 3-1 here in Marshall on October 17th in their only matchup of the season. LC scored first in the game, until ETBU came back and tied it, only to see LC score one more to take a 2-1 halftime lead. The Wildcats added one more in the second half for the win.
The Wildcats shooting percentage this season was .124 overall and .430 on goal, holding opponents to .163 overall and .483 on goal. They scored 1.65 goals-per-game and attempted 13.3 shots-per-game, while opponents scored 2.07 goals and attempted 12.7 shots-per-game.
They were led in scoring by Fellipe Albuquerque, Rodrigo Neves and Caio Sousa with five goals each. Cameron Vauclin played most of the minutes in goal, posting a 1.93 GAA and making 23 saves.
“I think it’s going to be a very good matchup,” Grant replied, when asked about the rematch. “Both teams play a very similar style. We have to like our chances. We like the matchup we have in the tournament.”
A win for ETBU would put them into the semifinals against top-seeded Howard Payne on Friday at 11 a. m. The finals are scheduled for Sunday afternoon.
ASC TOURNAMENT HISTORY
1999 Nov. 5 Hardin-Simmons 3, East Texas Baptist 2 (OT)