Men’s soccer finishes fourth in SoCon

Jackie Gutknecht

The Georgia Southern University men’s soccer team ended their season with a devastating 0-1 loss against the No. 1 seeded Elon University Phoenix.

The Eagles finish the season with an overall record of 6-12-1 and a Southern Conference record of 3-3-1. GSU finished fourth in the SoCon.

Sophomore midfielder Chase Park and junior defender Thomas Valikonis were named to the SoCon All-Tournament Team.

Leading the Eagles in points is freshman defender Reed Norton with 13 points this season. Junior defender Drew Ruggles is right behind him, tallying 10 points this season.

GSU produced one of its best scoring opportunities in the first half with 20 minutes remaining when All-SoCon Honoree Ruggles shot a free kick shot across the face of the goal from 35 yards out. The Elon sophomore goalkeeper Nathan Dean was able to capture the shot away from a GSU corner kick.

The Phoenix took the lead in the 36th minute as SoCon Player of the Year senior forward Chris Thomas scored off a rebounded shot.

GSU attempted to come back in the second half when sophomore midfielder David Vargas Masis nearly found the net with six minutes remaining in the game. The shot swerved wide of the net.

As the Eagles trekked on they had a few more chances in the final two minutes of play and were unable to extend their 2012 season. GSU was outshot 14-11 with the Phoenix taking a 6-3 advantage in shots on goal.

Junior goalkeeper Neal Bates made five saves in the match, adding to his season total of 64 saves. Bates finishes the season with a .790 saving average.

Elon went on to win the SoCon Championship and claim the title.

The Eagles will say goodbye to their three seniors, forward Muhamed Sidibeh, midfielder Joe Hughes and defender Aleksandar Tomic, as there will also be nine juniors rising up to the plate for the next season.