No. 25 Men's Soccer Downs Stetson in A-Sun Opener, 3-1
|Florida Gulf Coast||0||3||3|
|STET||28:42||ECKENRODE, Kai (MENDOZA, Jonathan )|
|FGCU||84:06||PATTERSON, Nick (PORTILLO, Josey )|
|Stats at a Glance||FGCU||STET|
|Shots (on Goal)||18 (8)||20 (10)|
DeLAND, Fla. – After trailing 1-0 at the intermission, the No. 25 FGCU men’s soccer netted three unanswered goals en route to a 3-1 victory over in-state rival Stetson in the Atlantic Sun Conference opener for both squads on Friday evening in DeLand, Fla.
Junior defenseman Deion Jones (Tampa, Fla./Freedom HS) provided the equalizer in the 49th minute of play before classmate William Morse (Sugar Land, Texas/Clements HS) sent home the eventual game-winner at the 63:53 mark.
“We came out a little slow in the first half and gave them a few chances,” said fifth-year head coach Bob Butehorn. “I’m proud of the way we responded in second period, both tactically and mentally, and I’m pleased with the effort after the break. It’s always tough to come out and win your first conference game, especially on the road, and I thought Stetson gave us a good challenge tonight. Now we have to come back on Tuesday with another strong outing against a good USF team.”
The Eagles improved to 4-2-2 overall with their third straight win and are now 1-0 in the A-Sun. With the victory, the Green and Blue extended their conference winning streak to 10 games dating back to last season, and are 15-2 in their last 17 league contests going back to 2009. FGCU also moved to 3-1-1 in A-Sun openers and sits at 2-3 all-time against Stetson. The Hatters dropped to 3-5-1 (0-1 A-Sun) in the losing effort.
Stetson was able to take an early 1-0 lead in the contest, finding the back of the net in the 29th minute of play. Junior midfielder Kai Eckenrode recorded his first goal of the season coming off an assist from junior Jonathan Mendoza.
As the game headed to the break, the Hatters held on to the one-score lead while edging the Eagles in shots, 8-5, and corners, 3-2.
Shortly into the second half the Eagles were able to level the game at 1-1. Following a foul on the Hatters, Jones blasted a free-kick just under the crossbar from 30 yards out for his first goal of the season, and ninth of his career.
It wouldn’t be long before FGCU moved ahead on the scoreboard, providing another tally in the 64th minute of play. Morse made good use of a turnover from Stetson, sending what proved to be the game-winner into the lower right side of the goal. It marked Morse’s first goal of the year and third as an Eagle.
FGCU would tack on one more insurance goal in the 85th minute of the game. Less than minute after entering the contest, sophomore Nick Patterson (Tarpon Springs, Fla./East Lake HS) was setup for his first collegiate goal on an assist from senior midfielder Josey Portillo (Metairie, La./Grace King HS). It was Portillo’s team-best fourth assist of the season, and moved him into the team lead for points with six.
Redshirt senior goalkeeper Adam Glick (Leola, Pa./Conestoga Valley HS) was stellar in net yet again. The netminder totaled nine saves in the contest with seven coming in the second period of play. Glick now has 35 saves on the season with a save percentage of .795 and a goals against average of 1.07.
The Hatters held the advantage in both shots, 20-18, and corners, 8-4, while Glick trumped Stetson keeper Andreas Schnabl in the saves column, 9-5.
For the season, the Eagles have outscored, 14-9, and outshot, 117-111, their opposition. Meanwhile, Glick has recorded four more saves (35-31) than his counterpart in net.
The Green and Blue return home for another meeting with a nationally-ranked foe, as No. 10 USF travels to Fort Myers on Tuesday, October 4 for a 7 p.m. contest. The Bulls enter their Saturday competition with Providence holding a 5-2-1 record (1-0 BIG EAST), with a win over then-No. 14 Wake Forest, 2-1, in Winston Salem, and back-to-back victories against then-No. 10 UC Irvine, 2-0, and at No. 11 West Virginia, 2-1, in their previous two outings. The Eagles are 2-1 all-time against opponents ranked in the top 10, and are 3-2 in contests with top 25 teams.
Live stats, Twitter updates (@FGCUEagles and @FGCUMensSoccer), results and recaps from all FGCU contests will be available at www.FGCUAthletics.com.
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