Men's Soccer struggles to earn another win in conference play

The Mercer Men’s Soccer team kicked off the past week of games when they hosted Incarnate Word on Oct. 10.

The Bears started the game off as senior Ehjayson Henry scored the first goal in the first eighteen minutes of the games. However, the Bears’ defense was unable to stop Incarnate Word’s offense. The opposing team scored three unanswered goals, giving the Bears a 3-1 loss at the end of the night.

The Bears did not have much time to dwell on the loss. They continued conference play just three days later as they hosted Jacksonville University at home.

The Jacksonville Dolphins scored a quick goal in the 12th minute of play. The score remained at 0-1 for the rest of the first half.

The Bears were able to answer the goal and tie the score at 1-1 after the half. The goal was scored by sophomore Juan Jose Morales and assisted by senior Joey Heavner. The assist place Heavner one away from the record for most assists in Mercer program history.

The record is currently held by Max Rooke who has twenty-two career assists. Heavner states, “It is certainly a great honor to be up there and to possibly break it. However, I am nowhere near the great playmaker that Max Rooke was.”

Heavner attributes his many assists to his good health and opportunity to take corner kicks, free kicks and long throws.

Although he is stoked about possibly breaking the record, Heavner is mainly focused on the success of his team.  “All I can say is I’m thankful for the opportunities I’ve had, and hope that somehow we can find a way to win a championship this season,” said Heavner, “That would mean far more than any individual accomplishments.”

The Bears came one step closer to the championship when they traveled to Fort Myers, Fla., to take on Florida Gulf Coast University.

The Bears came away with a tie at the end of the night. This draw moved them up in the Atlantic Sun Conference standings. They are now tied for fifth with Northern Kentucky.

The Bears held the Eagles to their second tie in the past 20 home conference games. Greg Ranjitsingh had his second shutout of the season and made his 227th career save. The tie gave the Bears the momentum it needed as they traveled to DeLand, Fla., to face the Stetson Hatters.

The Hatters took charge of the game in the 14th minute of play. Unfortunately, they held their lead and eventually gave the Bears a disappointing 0-1 loss.

The Bears had twelve shots on goal in the second half, but they just could not get one into the net. They did have a chance to tie the score, however, the goal was waived by the referees due to an offside call.

“We had a tough first half of the season, but we’re trying to find new life in conference and get things rolling,” says Heavner. Hope is not lost yet, and the Bears are eager to get a win.

Mercer will return to Bear Field for their last home game of the season against University of North Florida on Saturday, Oct. 26.