ASHEVILLE, N.C. - The UNC Asheville men's soccer team will play its final regular-season match at home on Saturday when the Bulldogs host Presbyterian College at Greenwood Field starting at 2 p.m. Saturday's match will be video-streamed and can be seen for a small fee at www.uncabulldogs.com.
Asheville (3-13-3, 2-4-1) needs a win or a tie to make sure it's not the last match the Bulldogs play in 2011. Matt Kern's club needs some sort of a result to hold off VMI and to get into next week's Big South Conference Tournament. The Keydets (1-6-1) host High Point on Saturday at 1 p.m. A VMI win and a Bulldog loss would send the Keydets to next week's tournament at Gardner-Webb. VMI downed Asheville earlier this year, 2-1.
"We control our own destiny and that's the position you want to be in," commented Kern. "We're not happy that we're having to wait to the last day to get into the tournament but our guys believe if we can get into the tournament we can make some noise. But we need to get there first."
Prior to the match, the Bulldogs will honor 10 seniors playing their final home match at Greenwood field. They include Bryan Bartels, Weston Brown, Bryan George, Kye Grooms, Jake Hagedorn, Lassi Hurskainen, Branden Lassen, Eli Morrow, J.J. Morrow and Nick Stemkowski.
"We want to send our seniors out with a victory on Saturday," explained Kern. "They've done a lot for our program, and we want them to get a win and have some momentum going into the Big South Tournament.
The Bulldogs have dropped five straight and have struggled to score lately. Asheville has been shut out in four of those losses. Kern's team has not played since a 3-0 loss to Liberty last Saturday. The Bulldogs out-shot the Flames, 16-10.
"We dominated much of the match against a Liberty team that's playing pretty well right now," commented Kern. "We had great chances but just couldn't get the ball into the back of the net. You have to get some goals. Hopefully, we will get some tomorrow."
The Blue Hose (3-13-0, 3-5-0 BSC) are not eligible yet for the league tournament. PC has posted some nice wins throughout league play with wins over Campbell, Radford and VMI. The Bulldogs edged the Blue Hose in overtime last season, 2-1.
UNC Asheville has lost six one-goal matches this season.
Asheville has had three different players score game-winning goals this year in Bryan Bartels, Jake Hagedorn and Kenneth Lingerfelt.
The Bulldogs have only scored two goals in the first half this year.
Senior goalkeeper Lassi Hurskainen is second in the nation in saves per game (6.76) and total saves (115). He tops the Big South Conference in save percentage at .790.