DeLand, Fla. - Stetson (3-2-1) scored a pair of second half goals against Florida Atlantic Saturday night and then held on for a 2-0 win over the Owls (2-3-1). It was the second shutout for the Hatters who were playing in their final non-conference game of the season.
With the game approaching the 60-minute mark in a scoreless tie and looking a little too much like last week's FIU heartbreaker the Hatters struck and struck hard off the foot of junior midfielder Gonzalo de Mujica (Buenos Aires, Argentina). After the ball was played into the box and bounced around it ended up rebounding out to de Mujica who literally blasted a low hard shot lower right that deflected off a stunned defender and into the center of the goal. It was the second goal of the season for Maestro of the Midfield.
Although Stetson had controlled most of the play leading up to its first goal, the ice breaker acted as a pressure release and a confidence boost. Just over nine minutes later The Hatters added to their lead on a nifty three-player charge. Luis Ocejo (Mexico City, Mexico) charged down the right flank and slipped a through pass to Kai Eckenrode (Springfield, Va.) who one-timed a touch pass to Ryan Asare-Bediako further down the right side and cutting toward center. Asare-Bediako ripped a shot lower right for his first goal of 2010.
For the remainder of the game the Stetson midfield and back four played solid defense and did not allow the Owls a quality scoring opportunity. Goalkeeper Andreas Schnabl (Blaichach, Germany) finished with one save and his second shutout of the season. As hard as the defenders worked all night the key may have been the Hatters' forwards who controlled the flow by playing to position.
"I give a lot of credit to Schnabl and the back four, but I also give very good credit to our attacking players who came back and got into good defending shape", said Stetson head coach T. Logan Fleck. "I think we are starting to gel. We did not just play with each other we played for each other."
"I saw today the team chemistry that can do good things for us", he added.
Next up for the Hatters is a trip to Nashville to open up the Atlantic Sun Conference season against Belmont on Friday, October 1 at 4:00 p.m. and Lipscomb on Sunday the 3rd at 3:00 p.m.