MACON, Ga. - After starting the 2012 season with four-straight road games, the Mercer men's soccer team returns to the Peach State for its home opener against Presbyterian on Saturday and a road tilt at in-state rival Georgia Southern on Monday.
Mercer (1-2-1) opens its 2012 home schedule against Presbyterian on September 8 at 6:00 p.m. at Bear Field before traveling to Statesboro for a road contest with Georgia Southern on September 10 at 4:00 p.m.
Scouting the Opposition
Presbyterian (1-3) enters Saturday night's match-up on a two-match losing skid against A-Sun Conference members, having already dropped contests to ETSU and USC Upstate. The Blue Hose were picked to finish 10th in the Big South Men's Soccer Preseason Coaches' poll after returning 15 letterwinners and seven starters from their 2011 squad.
Georgia Southern (2-1) is off to another strong start this season after a solid 2011 campaign. The Eagles went 8-8-1 last season and return four of their top five goal scorers, including Southern Conference Preseason All-Conference selection Hunter Norton. Norton paces the Eagles, who were picked to finish sixth in the SoCon Men's Soccer Preseason Coaches' poll, with six points on two goals and two assists.
Last Time Out
PEORIA, Ill. - The Mercer men's soccer team battled for 110 minutes to earn a 2-2 tie against Hartwick and eventually the Hotels at Grand Prairie Classic Tournament title on Sunday afternoon at Shea Stadium.
Mercer (1-2-1) concluded its nine-day four-game road trip by racking up a season-high 17 shots and 11 corner kicks against Hartwick (0-1-2).
Seniors Will Betts and Joey Heavner both netted goals for the Bears while freshman Juan Jose Morales collected his first collegiate point with an assist in the match.
- Mercer went 1-0-1 this past weekend which was good enough to capture the Hotels at Grand Prairie Classic Tournament title held in Peoria, Ill. Mercer and tournament host Bradley each finished with identical records for the event, but Mercer's plus-two goal differential trumped Bradley's plus-one advantage to give the Bears the title.
- Junior Ryan King was named Tournament MVP of the Hotels at Grand Prairie Classic, while seniors Joey Heavner and Will Betts and sophomore Ashani Samuels were also voted onto the All-Tournament team.