West Palm Beach, Fla. – A career day by midfielder Tomer Bitton propelled Lynn University's fifth-ranked men's soccer team to a 2-1 victory over Eckerd College in the semifinals of the SSC Championship on Friday evening. Bitton notched his first career multi-goal game to send the Fighting Knights to the title match.
INSIDE THE MATCHUP:
Score: Lynn 2, Eckerd 1
Records: Lynn (14-1-1), Eckerd (8-6-3)
Location: Rinker Athletic Campus | West Palm Beach, Fla.
Series History: Lynn leads 26-2 all-time (Last played Oct. 15, 2016)
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HOW IT HAPPENED:
- It took only 5:35 for the Fighting Knights to grab a 1-0 lead over Eckerd. With most of the defensive attention paid to SSC Offensive Player of the Year Jack Watson, Bitton snuck through traffic to head in a corner kick from Adam Hutchinson.
- Lynn appeared to net its second goal of the match just a minute into the second half but a late offsides call negated the score. Moments later, the Tritons countered and Juand David Tejada netted his 11th goal of the season off a leaping save from Alexander Roth to knot the game 1-1.
- Both teams exchanged offensive attacks but it was a barrage of Lynn shots in the 70th minute which turned the tide in the Blue & White's favor. Another corner kick by Hutchinson was sent into the six-yard box and headed by Watson. The ball ricocheted off the cross bar and Bitton was there to connect on the game-winning sitter.
- The Tritons looked for the late goal only to find nowhere to go with the All-SSC central defense of Niklas Tasky and Sebastian Radakovics.
STATS OF THE GAME:
- Lynn outshot Eckerd 18-3 and led 6-4 in corner kicks.
- Alex Gott turned in nine saves while Roth logged one.
BEYOND THE BOXSCORE:
- Jack Watson had his string of consecutive games with a goal snapped at seven games but his assist extended his points streak to eight matches.
- Lynn has knocked Eckerd out of the SSC Tournament in each of the last two years and is unbeaten against the Tritons in each of the last 11 meetings (10-0-1)
- Lynn advances to the SSC Championship and is looking to become the third team to win the SSC regular season, SSC Championship and NCAA Division II national championship. The Fighting Knights accomplished that feat in 2003 and 2014.
Lynn is back in action on Sunday, Nov. 6, at 1 p.m. when it faces the winner of Tampa/Palm Beach Atlantic. Fans can keep up with the action live at LynnFightingKnights.com