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Soccer: LWC Men continue postseason run

Update: Due to inclement weather, the NAIA has postponed the second half of the Lindsey Wilson men's soccer team's opening round game versus seventh-ranked St. Thomas (FL) to Wednesday morning.

The match will resume at the Jack Allen Soccer Complex at 10amCT with the Blue Raiders holding a commanding, 4-0 advantage over the Bobcats.

The Lindsey Wilson men's soccer team's quest for a tenth NAIA National Championship continues this week in Decatur, Alabama. For the 26th time in program history, the Blue Raiders are one of the few teams remaining in contention as the competition shifts to the final site, and this year's squad has embraced the role of "underdog."

Following a midseason turnaround to secure the fourth seed in the Mid-South Conference tournament, the locals rallied off three consecutive upsets to claim a record-setting 16th league tournament title. Then, the Cinderella run relentlessly pushed forward into the national tournament's opening round. There, the Blue Raiders upended No. 13 Grace College (IN) and No. 9 Keiser University (FL) to put themselves where they are now.

Lindsey Wilson's first opponent is seventh-ranked St. Thomas University (FL). Out of the same conference as Keiser, the Sun Conference, the Bobcats are in search of their first national championship.

Due to inclement weather projected to hit the Decatur, Alabama area on Tuesday, Lindsey Wilson men's soccer NAIA National Championship Final Site Opening Round match against St. Thomas has been moved to a 2pmCT start.

Weather forecasts with projected heavy rainfall followed by thunderstorms in Decatur forced the Tournament Committee to move the games up in the day. The Blue Raiders were originally scheduled for a 4pmCT start.

Since the start of the postseason, Lindsey Wilson has outscored its opponents 12-4, with Mid-South Freshman of the Year Sadam Masereka leading the way with three goals. Teammates Jaland Larmond and Alexander Koziolek have each contributed two tallies this postseason. The latter of the two also paces the team with a pair of assists.

In goal, Pablo Costa is up to 14 saves in five appearances. He has consistently kept his goals-against average below one, at 0.77, and sports a 0.778 save percentage with two shutouts. Over the Blue Raiders' last 13 matches, in which they are 10-1-2, the netminder boasts a 0.805 mark between the posts.

St. Thomas University graduate goalkeeper Franco Acerbi is a primary key to St. Thomas' success this season. He has collected 13 shutouts, including nine in the last 10 games. Offensively, Hernando Suarez and Guido Cacciabue lead the 'Cats. Suarez, a sophomore, has five points on a goal and three assists through two national postseason matches, while Cacciabue's 22 points on the season are a team-high.

When Lindsey Wilson steps onto the pitch at the Jack Allen Soccer Complex, they will do so as the tenth seed in a final field of ten programs. The Blue Raiders have never been positioned at No. 10, and, in fact, have only been seeded lower than ninth one other time, when they were ranked No. 20 in 2006.

Historically, Tuesday will be the fourth all-time meeting between the Blue Raiders and the Bobcats. Lindsey Wilson is 2-0-1 to take control of the series with their last meeting coming back on September 3, 2017, in Thomasville, Georgia with the locals carrying out a 5-2 victory.

This story was posted on 2022-11-29 11:42:50
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