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Preview: Tars Continue SSC Gauntlet

Preview: Tars Continue SSC Gauntlet

SCHEDULE:
Wednesday, October 4 at Tampa | 7:00 p.m. | Tampa, Fla.
Saturday, October 7 vs. No. 8 Palm Beach Atlantic | 7:00 p.m. | Barker Family Stadium 

COVERAGE:
UT – Watch | Live Stats
PBA – Watch | Live Stats 

SET UP: The Tars recovered from their first defeat of 2017 with a 6-1 thrashing of the Nova Southeastern Sharks last time out.  Rollins must now prepare for another full slate of Sunshine State Conference action, as they visit the Tampa Spartans on Wednesday evening, The Tars will then play their third top-10 team of the year, when they host No. 8 Palm Beach Atlantic to Barker Family Stadium. 

WHO TO WATCH:
No. 17 Rollins (5-1-1, 3-1-0 SSC): Junior captain Ben Grant continues to pace the Rollins offense.  The Manchester, England native sits tied atop the SSC with five goals on the year, while his ten points leads the Tars, and puts him in a tie for third in the conference.  Damian Clarke has found the net three times, while adding an assist for seven total points on the year.  Defender Fritz Engel, and last year's leading scorer Matt Volk round out Rollins' multi-goal scorers, each tallying twice.  Johnny Nartoxicz and Andre Nansen have each dished out two assists on the year, to lead the Tars. 

Julian Grundler has seen much of the action in goal recently.  The rangy German has started the last four games for Rollins, earning a 3-1-0 record.  He sits third in the SSC in both save percentage, at .850, and goals against average, at .715. 

Tampa (2-2-1, 1-1-1 SSC): Tampa was tripped up by Florida Southern last time out, falling 3-1.  The game came a week after the Spartans played then No. 9 Palm Beach Atlantic to a 1-1 draw. 

Senior Bay Downing has registered most of the offensive production for the Spartans on the year.  The lone player who has found the back of the net multiple times, Downing leads Tampa in goals, with three, and points, with six.  Six other Tampa players have each tallied one goal.  Among them is Juancho Fernandez, who leads the team with two assists, for a total of four points. 

Jake Richards and Richard Trench have split time in net for the Spartans. Richards getting the start in three games, and making 12 saves, while surrendering six goals.  Trench saw action in two games, stopping six shots while giving up seven goals. 

No. 8 Palm Beach Atlantic (6-0-2, 2-0-1 SSC): Playing on Monday night, the Sailfish dismantled Florida Memorial, outside of SSC play, 7-0.  The eighth-ranked Sailfish will have to prepare for a top-10 matchup, as they face No. 4 Lynn away, before making the trip north to Winter Park. 

Palm Beach Atlantic has used a very balanced attack on their way to their 6-0-2 record.  Cleef Desir leads the team with three goals on the year, however, the Sailfish have six multi-goal scorers, and have seen 13 players light up the scoreboard on the season.  Phil Cardoso is tied with Desir for the team lead, at seven points, coming on two goals and three assists.  Defender Jerry Saint-Vil has also dished out three helpers. 

Elliot Barker has seen a majority of the time between the pipes for Palm Beach Atlantic.  He has racked up 12 saves, while letting in just two goals in 490 minutes of action, good for a .37 goals against average. 

NOTES:

  • The Tars are 17-24-4 all-time against Tampa, including a hard fought 3-3 draw last season.   Matt Volk scored in the contest, while Ray Gerke, Johnny Nartowicz and Luis Diego each picked up assists.
  • Rollins is 15-4-0 all-time when facing Palm Beach Atlantic; however, Rollins dropped their 2016 meeting with the Sailfish 3-2, despite a Volk goal, and an assist by Damian Clarke.
  • The Tars' match-up with PBA will be their third against top-10 competition so far in 2017, but their first at home. Rollins is 1-1 in the other two, defeating No. 1 Wingate, but falling to No. 5 Lynn.
  • 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 311-149-30, the 14th best record among active Division II head coaches. 

NEXT:
Rollins will continue SSC play next Wednesday, October 11, when they travel to St. Petersburg to take on Eckerd, kickoff is set for 7 p.m.  The Tars will then return home, to Barker Family Stadium, on Saturday, October 14, where they will round out their non-conference schedule for the 2017 campaign with a noon match against Flagler. 

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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