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Bisons end A-Sun Tournament trip with loss to Jacksonville

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Nov. 15, 2007

Final Stats

GALLERY

The only thing chillier than the brisk breeze that swept the Stetson Soccer Complex was the feelings of the Lipscomb Bisons soccer players.

Miguel DaSilva and T.J. Williams sat in the middle of the field, refusing to be consoled. Several players were crying as coach Charles Morrow gave his post-game talk.

"A lot of the guys took it hard," Morrow said. "In the past couple of years the seniors on the team were ready for the season to end. It is good that they still wanted to play this season. It is good that it mattered to them."

Their first trip ever to the Atlantic Sun Conference Tournament ended in a 3-2 defeat Thursday night against No, 1-seeded Jacksonville in DeLand, Fla., on the campus of host Stetson University.

"What we take away is tournament experience for our players," Morrow said. "We prepared for the tournament pretty well as a staff. We put our guys in the best opportunities we could to have success."

The Bisons, the No.4 seed, spotted Jacksonville a two-goal lead in the first half with Stefan Runeman scoring an unassisted goal at 16:40. Jonathon Jackson scored his first goal of the season at 30:44.

"Jacksonville is pretty lucky and fortunate that they got away with it," Morrow said. "We missed two shots in the second half from inside the six. We looked pretty dangerous at times.

"We are walking away from this one kicking ourselves. The way we came out in the first half was very disappointing."

Morrow attributed the slow start to what appeared to be some tournament jitters.

"You talk with some of the guys who were out there and they will say they didn't feel like they were nervous," Morrow said. "Then the game started and we didn't string a pass or two together and then all of sudden they were jittery.

"It was a downward spiral in the first half. When we got together at the half a lot of the guys looked despondent and upset. I told them they should have been happy. We played a horrible first half and we were only down 2-1."

Lipscomb senior forward Ben Page scored his second penalty kick goal of the tournament at 44:42 of the first half. He beat Jacksonville goalkeeper Matt Gilman with a high shot to the middle of the net. The Bisons were awarded the kick when DaSilva was dragged down as he maneuvered the ball down the goal line.

The Bisons played with a high level of intensity in the second half on both offense and defense.

"We started having a change of perspective at halftime," Morrow said. "We really responded and played great in the second half."

Jacksonville scored its third goal at 79:22 as Philipp Meyner scored his third goal of the season.

DaSilva gave the Bisons one last shot 37 seconds left to play as he scored on a header from about 10 yards out. It was his 10th goal of the season, a new school record.

"The ball whipped in head-high and Miguel flicked it into the net," Morrow said.

Lipscomb senior goalkeeper Jake Goergen made four saves in his last game.

Jacksonville held an 18-8 advantage in shots, but only a 7-6 edge in shots on goal.

"Certainly, Jacksonville is a good team," Morrow said. "But we walked away from the game knowing we had our opportunities and a chance to win."

The Bisons beat Belmont 1-0 in the first round of the tournament Wednesday night.

The Bisons finished with a 6-11-3 record, 4-3-2 in the conference. Jacksonville is 10-7-1, 7-2-0 in the A-Sun.