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PREVIEW: Tars Look to Topple No. 2 Sailfish in Semifinals

PREVIEW: Tars Look to Topple No. 2 Sailfish in Semifinals

SCHEDULE:
Friday, November 3 vs. Palm Beach Atlantic | 7:00 p.m. | PBA Soccer/Lacrosse Field 

COVERAGE:
PBA – Watch | Live Stats 

MORE INFORMATION:
SSC Tournament Page | Championship Central | Bracket 

SET UP: The Tars will continue with Sunshine State Conference Tournament action after an intense battle in the first round in which the Tars came back to defeat Florida Tech, and advance to the semifinals. Rollins started the game strong scoring the night's first goal, but Florida Tech equalized not long after. The Panther's attack continued coming as Tech then took the lead before the end of the first half. When returning to the field the Tars came out and put numerous shots on goal, none of which found the back of the net. The relentless attacks on Florida Tech finally payed off when the Tars tied it up 2-2 on a cross from Stefan Avram which a Florida Tech player tapped in for an own goal. Rollins then took the lead with a goal by Avram's with five minutes left to go in the game. The Tars now turn their attention to SSC Regular Season Champions, and National No. 2, Palm Beach Atlantic as they return to tournament play. 

WHO TO WATCH:
Rollins (10-4-1, 6-4-0 SSC): The Tars offense has kept up its blistering pace in the first game of post season, tacking on another three goals. Rollins juniors Stefan Avram and Ben Grant both tallied a goal of their own against Florida Tech, putting them both at nine on the season, tops in the SSC. Overall, seven Tars have found the net more than once this season, and 12 Tars total have lit the scoreboard for Rollins.  Senior defender Fritz Engel still leads the team in assist with four, followed by junior captain Johnny Nartowicz, who came up big adding his third assist on the season in the game against Florida Tech. Andre Nansen also has recorded three assist on the season. 

Drew Trautmann saw action in the first game of SCC tournament play making his eighth appearance on the season. He made a huge save in a one-on-on to keep the Tars in the game against Tech, that then allowed them to take the lead soon after.  Overall, the senior has tallied 21 saves on the season, and held two clean sheets. 

Palm Beach Atlantic (14-0-2, 9-0-1 SSC): Palm Beach Atlantic has been nearly perfect on the season, with their only conference blemish was a tie against Tampa back in September. After their 1-0 win against Florida Tech to end the regular season, they received a bye in the first round of the Sunshine State Conference Tournament. The Sailfish come into the match riding a 10 game win streak and a ranked No. 2 in the latest United Soccer Coaches Poll. 

The Sailfish leading scorer is senior Cleef Desir with six goals, one coming against Rollins during the regular season, one of three game winnig goals for the senior. Cleef has also tallied three assist giving him 15 points which leads his team. Another senior Charlie Dennis has five goals of his own, four of those coming in conference play, and two assists for a total of 12 points.  Palm Beach Atlantic has employed a balanced attack, with 14 separate Sailfish scoring this season, and 10 tallying more than once. Phil Cardoso has dished out five assists, leading PBA, and good for fifth in the SSC. 

Elliott Barker has been PBA's go to player in the net seeing action in 12 games this year, including the match against Tars earlier this season. He has two goals allowed on the season for a percentage of .16 while tallying 26 saves for an average of .929.  Barker leads the SSC in goals against average and save percentage.  Overall the Sailfish defense has only been broken three time all season. 

NOTES:

  • The Tars are 15-4 all-time against Palm Beach Atlantic.
  • This is the first year that Palm Beach Atlantic is eligible to compete in the Sunshine State Conference Tournament
  • The last meeting between the Tars and Sailfish was a 1-0 win for then No. 8 PBA during the 2017 regular season.
  • 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 316-152-30, the 14th best record among active Division II head coaches. 

NEXT:
The winner of this Semifinal matchup will advance to the SCC Tournament Finals where they will play the winner of No.3 Lynn and No.2 Tampa on Sunday, November 5th, at 1pm at Palm Beach Atlantic.  

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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