JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The Mercer men's soccer team now holds a perfect 4-0-0 record in Atlantic Sun Conference play after coming away with a 3-0 road win over North Florida on Thursday evening at Hodges Stadium.
Mercer (9-5-1, 4-0-0 A-Sun) is now 4-0-0 in A-Sun Conference play for the first time since 2002. The Bears 9-5-1 overall record also equals the 2002 squad for the best start after 15 games in the last 10 years.
After both teams traded shots early in the first half, it would be the Bears who lit up the scoreboard first. Junior Ehjayson Henry fed a through ball into senior Sharpe Sablon, who avoided UNF goalkeeper Brad Sienkiewicz and slipped a shot into the back of the net to give Mercer a 1-0 lead in the 19th minute of play.
The Orange and Black kept pressing offensively and nearly doubled their lead, but freshman Will Jones' header off a corner kick was saved by Sienkiewicz to keep the score 1-0 in favor of Mercer going into halftime.
Mercer slowed things down for most of the second half, working the ball around the back line and midfield while controlling possession throughout.
Only when UNF started to press did the Bears ratchet up their intensity again on the offensive side of the ball and it paid big dividends over the final six minutes of play.
Mercer made the score 2-0 when freshman Jason Sayers collected a failed corner kick clearance and fired a shot that was redirected by Henry and in for a goal in the 85th minute.
The Orange and Black put the game out of reach just moments later when Sayers started a one-man counter attack and laid off a ball to junior Ryan King who ripped an attempt past Sienkiewicz and inside the far post to made the final score 3-0.
Ranjitsingh made two saves in the match to earn his A-Sun leading seventh shutout of the season. The Pickering, Ontario native's 14 career clean sheets is now tied with Mercer's own Ron Keller for the most shutouts in program history and the sixth-most shutouts in A-Sun Conference history.
Mercer resumes its Sunshine State road trip on October 20 when it travels across town to take on Jacksonville. Game time is scheduled for 7 p.m. at the Ashley Sports Complex.