Final regular season home game to test Eagles

Senior defender Thomas Valikonis (3) dribbles the ball as Appalachian State University sophomore midfielder Alex Herbst (18) goes for the steal.Photo by: Ryan Woodham

Trevor McNaboe

Riding the wave of the team’s first conference win of the season, the Georgia Southern University men’s soccer team will close out the regular season home schedule with a match tonight against Jacksonville University.

The Eagles look to carry over the momentum from the win Saturday night over rival Appalachian State University by a score of 1-0.

The Dolphins are coming into this game off a loss at home to East Tennessee State University by a score of 2-1.

Both teams have played similar opponents in Wofford College, Davidson College and Mercer University. GSU has lost to all three opponents by a combined score of 6-1. JU on the other hand has defeated Davidson and Mercer both by a score of 2-1, while losing to Wofford 3-1.

The Eagles have played best at home this season, winning three out of the team’s five victories at Eagle Field.

On the flip side, the Dolphins have struggled mightily on the road, coming in with a 1-4 record.

Both teams faced off last year with JU coming away with a definitive victory by a 5-0 tally at home.

A few players that made an impact for the Dolphins in last year’s matchup return this year.

Junior forward Matheus Saroli currently leads the team in goals with four this year. Last year Saroli scored two goals against the Eagles.

Senior midfielder Guilherme Brandao is second on the team in assists for the season with two. In the 2012 match versus GSU, he recorded two assists.

Senior midfielder Nick Rodriguez is the Dolphins second leading scorer on the year with three goals.  Last year, he found the back of the net once against the Eagles.

GSU will look towards a defense-first approach as senior goalkeeper Neal Bates is second in the nation in total saves coming into this game with 75.

GSU allows 1.3 goals per game while scoring just above 1 goal per game. Similarly, JU allows more goals than it scores as it allows 1.5 goals per game and scores 1.08 goals a game.

GSU takes on JU today in the home finale at 7 p.m. at Eagle Field.