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Preview: Tars Prepare to Open SSC Slate

Preview: Tars Prepare to Open SSC Slate

SCHEDULE:
Wednesday, September 20 vs. Florida Southern | 7:30 p.m. | Barker Family Stadium
Saturday, September 23 at Barry | 6:00 p.m. | Miami, Shores, Fla. 

COVERAGE:
FSC – Watch | Live Stats
BU – Watch | Live Stats 

SET UP:
The Tars will look to remain unbeaten as they open Sunshine State Conference play, and take to the field at Barker Family Stadium for the first time this season.  Rollins used a late goal to propel themselves by Southeastern its last time out, and now look to ride that momentum into conference action.  The Tars open up their home slate on Wednesday with a visit from SSC rival Florida Southern, followed by a trip to Miami Shores and a date with Barry on Saturday evening. 

WHO TO WATCH:
Rollins (2-0-1): A pair of junior midfielders are pacing the Tars' offense through three games this season.  Captain Ben Grant, has tallied three goals on the year, including both Rollins goals in a 2-1 win over Southeastern last time out.  Damian Clarke has also tallied three times, while being named SSC Player of the Week, for his first week performances.  The Bridgetown, Barbados native also added an assist on the first of Grant's goals against the Fire, giving him a team leading seven points. 

Drew Trautmann has seen a majority of the work in net for the Tars.  The senior has tallied eight saves in two games.  He earned SSC Defensive Player of the Week Honors for his first week performance, which included a penalty stop, and six saves against the defending National Champions. 

Florida Southern (2-0-0): The Mocs will have had more than two weeks off when they travel to Winter Park, having not played a game since prior to Hurricane Irma.  Last time out, on September 5, Florida Southern downed North Greenville by a score of 3-1.  The Mocs had contests against Spring Hill and Flagler canceled due to the storm. 

Romain Voirin is leading the Florida Southern offense through their two games.  The midfielder has tallied two goals and an assist, for a team leading five points.  Rene Rivera has also found the back of the net twice for the Mocs.  Freshman Benny Yusufoglu has seen all the time in goal for Florida Southern, giving up just 1.13 goals per game. 

Barry (0-1-1): The Buccaneers have also sat idle since Hurricane Irma and will have had almost three weeks off from competition when the Tars make the trip southward.  Barry drew Mississippi College, 1-1, their last time out, after falling to Delta State, 1-0, in their opener. 

Barry, who was picked fifth in the preseason coach's poll, lost a pair of First Team All-SSC talents after 2016.  So far in 2017 the offensive production has come in the form of Sergio Yepes, who has netted the Bucs only goal through two games.  Jerrell Cato earned the assist.  Francisco Aguirre leads the team with seven shots, two on target.  Bo Haug has seen every minute between the pipes, and is surrendering just .90 goals per game. 

NOTES:

  • The Tars are 50-13-10 all-time against Florida Southern, but fell 4-3 against the Mocs last season.
  • Rollins is 20-17-2 all-time when facing Barry, and bested the then No. 8 Bucs 3-2 in double overtime last season; Stefan Avram netted the game winner in the 101st minute.
  • The Tars are 3-1-1 in their last five home openers, and 2-2-1 in their last five SSC openers.
  • Damian Clarke sits fourth in the SSC with his seven points, while he and Ben Grant are tied for fourth in the conference in goals scored.
  • Tars' head coach Keith Buckley is entering his 27th year at the helm of the Rollins soccer program, and currently sits with a record of 308-148-30, the 14th best record among active Division II head coaches. 

NEXT:
Rollins will continue SSC action with a visit to the reigning conference champion Lynn Fighting Knights on Wednesday, September 27, kickoff is set for 6 p.m.  The Tars' SSC slate will then include a visit from Nova Southeastern on Saturday, September 30 at 7 p.m. 

For the latest news, updates, and information on the Rollins men's soccer team, fans can visit RollinsSports.com.  Fans can also stay up-to-date on the latest #TARnation news by following Rollins Sports on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

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