DeLand, Fla. - Senior midfielder Gonzalo de Mujica (Buenos Aires, Argentina) scored what will go down as the last goal ever scored at the current Stetson Soccer Complex, striking in the 86th minute to complete a Stetson (10-5-3) rally to a 2-1 victory over visiting Nebraska-Omaha (1-11-1) Saturday on Senior Night. The Hatters ran their unbeaten streak to nine matches with the regular season-concluding victory.
The Stetson Soccer Complex and adjoining intramural fields will be completely gutted and renovated starting in December and will give way to a brand new complex featuring competition venues for soccer and women's lacrosse as well as practice fields for both sports and football and the new fieldhouse. The project is expected to be ready for the 2012 men's and women's soccer seasons.
Tonight's match was scoreless throughout the first half and into the 61st minute, when UNO's Craig Buettner collected a rebound of his own shot and drove the ball into the lower left corner of the net to give the Mavericks a 1-0 lead. That advantage was gone less than two minutes later, however, as Stetson junior midfielder Jonathan Mendoza (Bogota, Colombia) received a pass from fellow junior Kai Eckenrode (Springfield, Va.), slipped past a defender and banked a high blast in off the crossbar for the 1-1 tie.
De Mujica, one of six upperclassmen honored before the match on Senior Night, finally broke through for the winning goal in the 86th minute. On a charge forward, he took a pass from fellow senior Joakim Helland (Bergen, Norway) and sent a low shot past UNO goalkeeper Josh Christensen to give the Hatters a win heading into the A-Sun tournament.
Christensen and Stetson senior goalkeeper Dan Billman (Troy, Mo.) each made four saves on the night. Other seniors that got the start for the Hatters were defender Stephan Ledain (Mississauga, Ont.), forward Ryan Asare-Bediako (Tampa, Fla.) and forward Matt Delisle (Pembroke Pines, Fla.).
"I have to give Nebraska-Omaha a lot of respect, they fought very hard," said Head Coach T. Logan Fleck. "They are a first-year program that I'm sure is going to do very well in the future. I'm thrilled that our seniors got to win on Senior Night and win the last match on this field."
Sophomore midfielder Steven Saballos (Miami, Fla.) added, "We're proud of how we were able to come out and rally back from being down to get a win for our seniors. We're glad to get the win going into the postseason."
The Hatters now advance to the A-Sun tournament semifinals as the #2 seed, awaiting either third-seeded Jacksonville or sixth-seeded ETSU on Friday, November 11 in Johnson City, Tennessee. The match will be available on ASun.TV.
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