In his first-year with the Bucs, head coach David Casper led the team to a winning record. The team finished the season with nine wins, only losing one conference match this season.
Coming into the SoCon tournament the Bucs had won two matches straight, only giving up one goal in each match.
“We need 28 guys bought in, committed to fighting for the same goal, and it started with this group creating core values with them,” said Casper. “When we bring in some new players in the fall, we will try to integrate them into the system quickly.”
The Bucs came into the SoCon tournament as the No. 2 seed and hosted Furman, a team that handed them a loss during regular season play.
After a physical first half in the semifinal match, both teams went into the half scoreless. In the first half, the Bucs outshot Furman by two shots.
Furman got on the board first, scoring within 18 feet to take a 1-0 lead over the Bucs in the second half. Nine minutes later the Bucs were able to tie the game when Cameron Woodfin (Old Hickory, Tennessee) scored on a penalty kick. In the second half, Furman outshot the Bucs by one shot.
The Bucs and Furman went into overtime following regulation, tied up at 1.
Furman’s defense was solid in the overtime period, not allowing the Bucs to get many opportunities to score.
However, on offense, Furman scored the game-deciding goal to end the Bucs’ promising season. Furman outshot the Bucs by two goals with one being from the corner that found the back of the net in overtime.
“Furman is a really good team,” said Casper. “I thought it was an even game. They were able to score off a set piece in overtime, and unfortunately there is no coming back from that.”
With only three seniors on this year’s team, the Bucs return a majority of their team for next season.
“The three seniors are massive for us, Casper said. “If you look back, you can see the history of their careers, and they have made ETSU a better program since they have been here. We will take a few days to analyze the season as a team and see where we can be better in the next week. I think it starts today.”