comments powered by Disqus
FORT MYERS, Fla. — East Tennessee State’s soccer team is headed back to the NCAA tournament.
The Bucs won their second Atlantic Sun Conference championship Sunday with a 3-1 victory over North Florida as Nate Hodges, Dante Brangman and Emmanuel Wilson scored goals.
ETSU clinched the A-Sun’s automatic bid to the NCAA tournament, that begins this week. The pairings will be announced today at 11 a.m. on NCAA.com. A get-together for the ETSU players, fans and supporters will be held at Beef O’Brady’s on Boone Creek Road.
Hodges, who was chosen as the tournament’s most valuable player, opened the scoring with a 30-yard left-footed rocket in the 28th minute. Hodges, the A-Sun defensive player of the year, led the Bucs’ back line as they held the Ospreys to just seven shots.
ETSU’s Dante Brangman picked a good time for his first goal of the season, scoring off a low cross from Wilson 31 seconds into the second half for a 2-0 lead. Wilson stole the ball from the North Florida defense and drove down the left wing before delivering a perfect pass to Brangman, who redirected it into an open goal.
North Florida’s Simen Solstad scored in the 81st minute to try to spur a comeback. But four minutes later, Wilson sealed the outcome with a goal of his own after a long run up the right side.
The Bucs’ only previous NCAA appearance came in 2010.
Joining Hodges on the all-tournament team from ETSU were Wilson, Ryan Coulter, David Geno, Itode Fubar and William Nordenstrom.