Orlando, Fla. - The Stetson men's soccer team traveled to Orlando Tuesday night for its final non-conference game of the season. The University of Central Florida (10-2-2) scored a pair of late goals and came out on top by a score of 2-0. Although they gave it their all and wanted to come home with a win, the Hatters (8-5-1) used the game as preparation for the upcoming final weekend showdown with A-Sun rivals UNF and Jacksonville.
"I thought we did well tonight", said Stetson head coach T. Logan Fleck. "Every game has a significance and we were in this game 'till the end. Our goal is to take one game at a time so we are now focusing on UNF this Friday."
Stetson and UCF played to a draw until the 78th minute when Cameron Cooksey scored his 5th of the season after being set up by Luiz Yamashita. It was a play that allowed the Stetson goalkeeper no chance to stop.
Junior Dan Billman (Troy, Mo.) played in his third career game, and had his first start for the Hatters since joining the program in 2008.
"It felt great to get back in there... I thought I did well", said Billman.
"Dan has been working so hard in training", added Fleck. "We needed to get him some game time because you never know when we are going to need him to step up and do a job for us".
The Knights added a second goal in the final minute of the game.
Next up Stetson will complete the regular season at home against UNF on Friday, October 29 at 7:00 p.m. and then Jacksonville Sunday, October 31 at 4:00 p.m. Sunday's game will be the final regular season home game for seniors Dan Sackman, Giulio D'Amore, and Ryan Corning. Prior to the game all three will be honored for their hard work and dedication over the past four years.
With two games to play Stetson controls its own destiny as far as hosting the A-Sun Championships. If the Hatters win both games this weekend the tournament will be held in DeLand. If ETSU should lose to USC Upstate Wednesday night in the final conference game for those two teams, Stetson will need to win just one of two. It is conceivable for Stetson to end up in a tie with either ETSU or Lipscomb, or both after Sunday, yet the Hatters hold the tiebreakers with wins over each team earlier in the season.