Men's soccer team heads to ASun championship for first time Saturday

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The drought is finally over for the Lipscomb men’s soccer team, after suffering seven heartbreaking defeats in the semifinals of the Atlantic Sun conference tournament.

Soccer win_350The Lipscomb Men’s soccer team took down powerhouse Florida Gulf Coast on Sunday, Nov. 5, to advance into the program's first-ever Atlantic Sun Championship final. The championship game is set for Nov. 11 at 7 p.m. EST in Jacksonville, Florida.

To make the win even sweeter, head coach Charles Morrow earned his 100th Lipscomb win in the process, setting a mark no other Bisons head coach has reached.

The victory in Fort Myers, Florida, is the first for Lipscomb over FGCU since the 2007-08 season and the first-ever win against the Eagles in the ASUN Tournament.

The Bisons went into the conference tournament as the No. 6 seed, becoming the lowest seeded team to reach the ASUN Final since 2011. A No. 6 seed has never won the ASUN Championship, but Lipscomb hopes to change that and make ASUN history.

Lipscomb are not the only surprise finalists as No.5 seed Jacksonville upset the No. 1 seed Stetson Hatters in double overtime. The matchup will be the first time the lower seeds have ever met in ASUN Championship history.

Despite a 2-4 ASUN record and a No. 6 seed in the ASUN Tournament, the Lipscomb men’s soccer team continued to show why it should be feared heading into postseason play by racking up plenty of ASUN All-Conference honors.

Leading the honors for the Bisons were seniors Ivan Alvarado and Joe Kerridge and redshirt junior and captain Logan Paynter who all were named First Team All-ASUN. Senior Ivan Sakou took home a Second Team honor while freshman Ben Locke and Ihaia Delaney were named to the All-Freshman Team.

Paynter came up clutch with the winning goal in the 71st minute, heading the ball in from the far post off an Austin Eager pass. It's the ninth goal of the season and the fourth game-winner for Paynter which gives him 26 in his career as he climbs closer to the top of the Bisons' goal ranks. He now trails second place by just six goals.

“It is all about the team, we did this together and all the hard work has paid off. It’s not only us, but all the previous players who have set the culture. We’ve always been good, it’s just how good we can be and putting it all together. We are going to fight till the very end and go after that championship,” said Paynter.

The senior class of 2018 officially becomes the best class in program history with 38 total wins over the last four seasons.

Jacksonville University will host Lipscomb in the ASUN Men’s Soccer Tournament Championship, which will be broadcast on ESPN 3, with kickoff set for 7 p.m. EST. The winner will not only be crowned conference champions, but will also receive a NCAA tournament berth as the coveted prize.