Clarksville, Ark.-The men's soccer squad has advanced to the American Southwest Conference playoffs for the third consecutive season and will play Texas Lutheran University on November 8 at noon in Seguin, Texas.
The conference championship match is set for November 9 at 2:00 p.m., with the winner receiving an automatic bid in the NCAA III tournament. Having played in the last two conference tournaments, the Eagles (13-6-0, 8-4-0) find themselves in a familiar spot. However, they face a difficult challenge in a Texas Lutheran (12-3-2, 9-1-0) squad that will play on their home field. "They are a good team and they are solid all around," said head coach Dave DeHart, who has compiled a 53-25-3 record at Ozarks. "They show no particular weakness. We are defiantly the underdog and we will have to be very competent and minimize our mistakes in addition to playing physically hard. We’re young and being young, we can’t let ourselves be overwhelmed by the situation." De Hart, who has led the Eagles to the conference championship match the last two seasons, believes another playoff appearance is an important part of the Eagles’ program. "Being in the playoffs for the third straight year means everything," said De Hart. "To continue that kind of standard is huge, especially considering the changes we have had in our personnel over the last few seasons. And this is what we play for, we don’t play just to play, we play to win." The Eagles finished the regular season with another banner offensive year, finishing second in the conference in shots (341), points (155), goals (55) and assists (42). Three Eagles ranked at the top in four different offensive categories. Junior forward Ricky Herrera led the conference in goals (14) and was second in goals per game (.78). Freshman forward Ron Hogsett led the conference in points (31) and ended second in points per game (1.72). Additionally, Hogsett had 4 game winning goals, second best in the conference. Will Masterson led the conference in assists (11) and assists per game (.61). Masterson also finished the regular season third in shots (55). Defensively, the Eagles were also impressive, setting a new school record with ten shut outs. Sophomore goalkeeper Chris Schultz led the conference in shut outs with eight and ended third in shut outs per game (.50).