Eagles Eye Championship in Atlantic Sun Tournament Final
|Florida Gulf Coast||0||1||1|
|FGCU||88:40||HARRISON, Scott (DiSTEFANO, Francesco )|
|Stats at a Glance||ETSU||FGCU|
|Shots (on Goal)||15 (6)||12 (3)|
FORT MYERS, Fla. – Coming off a 2-1 semifinal victory over Mercer on Friday in the program’s first-ever postseason contest, the No. 1 seed FGCU men’s soccer team is set to take on sixth-seeded ETSU in the Atlantic Sun Conference Tournament championship game on Sunday in Johnson City, Tenn. Kickoff for the contest between the Eagles and the Bucs is set for 1 p.m. from Summers-Taylor Stadium.
Under the direction of A-Sun Coach of the Year Bob Butehorn, FGCU advances to the championship game in its first year of postseason eligibility holding an 11-5-2 (7-1 A-Sun) record. The winner of the Sunday afternoon contest will receive an automatic berth into the NCAA Division I Championship Tournament set to begin on Nov. 17.
The Eagle’s offensive effort has been sparked by senior A-Sun All-Conference first teamer Cristian Raudales (Bradenton, Fla./Manatee HS) and A-Sun Freshman of the Year Xavier Silva (Boca Raton, Fla./North Broward Prep) who each hold 15 points. In the A-Sun semifinal contest with Mercer, the point leading duo connected for the Eagles opening goal on a cross by Silva that was headed home by Raudales to give the Green and Blue a 1-0 lead. Silva went on to score the eventual game-winner on a header of his own, moving his point total to three for the game. The program’s all-time leader in points (43) and goals (19), Raudales has also tied the single-season record for goals this year with seven.
Senior A-Sun second team selection Josey Portillo (Metairie, La./Grace King HS) has netted three goals this season while accumulating a program single-season record seven assists for a total of 13 points. Additionally, juniors Andres Navas (Miami, Fla./Sunset Senior HS/FIU) and William Morse (Sugar Land, Texas/Clements HS) have also reach the double-digit point plateau this season. Each holding 10 points, Navas has recorded four goals, including two game-winners, and a pair of assists, while Morse has a pair of goals and six assists, which ranks second on the team.
One of 10 national finalists for the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award and an A-Sun first team selection, redshirt senior goalkeeper Adam Glick (Leola, Pa./Conestoga Valley HS) has played 1123:19 minutes in net this season for the Eagles, totaling 44 saves while allowing 14 goals. His 1.12 goals against average currently ranks third in the A-Sun, while the .759 save percentage is also good for fourth in the league. Glick picked up his 32nd career victory with the 1-0 shutout over USC Upstate (Oct. 14) and, with three shutouts this season, the netminder sits third in A-Sun history with 19 and sits four away from the record set by Jeff Cassar of FIU (1992-95). Freshman keeper Nathan Ingham (Ontario, Canada/Keswick HS) has made the last six starts in goal for the Eagles, compiling a 5-1 record while allowing eight goals for a 1.33 goals against average and sending away 22 shots on goal.
In the other semifinal contest on Friday, ETSU used a penalty-kick shootout to take down No. 2 seed Stetson. Trailing 2-1 in the contest, ETSU’s David Geno added the equalizer in the 48th minute, heading in a score off a free kick. The Bucs appeared to have the game-winner in the 87th minute when Geno added his second goal of the game off a cross from Itode Fubara, however in the 89th minute Stetson’s Jonathan Mendoza sent a cross into the box that was deflected in goal by ETSU defender Jaron Westbrook, forcing overtime. Following the pair of scoreless overtime periods the match headed to penalties, where ETSU outlasted Stetson, 5-4.
ETSU (10-6-4, 3-4-1 A-Sun) is led by Geno’s 21 points, coming on nine goals and three assists. Joining Geno as an A-Sun All-Conference first team pick, forward Aaron Shoenfeld is the only other double-digit scorer, with 19 points on seven goals and five assists. Goalkeeper Ryan Coulter has played all 20 games in net for the Bucs, accumulating 68 saves and 23 goals while posting eight shutouts. Coulter made four penalty-kick saves on Friday against Stetson to help ETSU advance to the championship match on Sunday. The Bucs are the first No. 6 seed to advance to the final in the championship’s 30-year history.
In the regular season meeting this season, the Bucs came away with a 2-1 victory over the Eagles. After moving ahead 1-0 in the 29th minute of play, FGCU surrendered two unanswered second half goals as ETSU came away with the win. Portillo provided the lone goal in the contest for the Eagles. Last year at the FGCU Soccer Complex, the Green and Blue defeated ETSU in a convincing 5-0 shutout. The all-time series between the schools sits level at 2-2.
Each game of the 2011 Atlantic Sun Conference Championship will be streamed online for free via ASun.TV. Live stats, live video (www.ASun.tv), in-game Twitter updates (@FGCUMensSoccer and @FGCUEagles), results and recaps from the 2011 Atlantic Sun Conference Tournament championship game will be available at www.FGCUAthletics.com.
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