FGCU Battles Northern Kentucky to 1-1 Tie in Atlantic Sun Opener
|FGCU||31:58||PENAGOS, Henry (ECHEVERRI, Santiago )|
|NKU||75:21||WALKER, Kevin (BARTLETT, Michael , LAIRD, Danny)|
|Stats at a Glance||FGCU||NKU|
|Shots (on Goal)||9 (4)||16 (5)|
HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, Ky. – The two-time defending Atlantic Sun champion FGCU men’s soccer team opened the start of its sixth season of conference play on Thursday night, battling to a 1-1 draw with the league’s newest member Northern Kentucky on Thursday night at NKU Soccer Stadium.
The 110-minute affair was the 100th game in FGCU’s program history, while the Norse were playing their first home game as a member of Division I and the A-Sun Conference. The Eagles, who are now 19-1-1 in their last 21 A-Sun games dating back to 2009, are 3-4-2 on the year, while NKU stands at 2-7-1.
Redshirt sophomore Henry Penagos (Margate, Fla./American Heritage School of Boca/Delray) gave FGCU a 1-0 lead in the 31st minute when he broke free of the NKU defense and fired a shot from about 12 yards out into the back of the net for his second goal of the season. Sophomore Santiago Echeverri (Kissimmee, Fla./Celebration HS) was credited with an assist on the goal.
The 1-0 lead held up through the rest of the first half, but the Norse were able to come up with neutralizer at the 75:21 mark when Kevin Walker tied the game at 1-1 with his second goal of the year.
Neither team could come up with a goal in the final 15 minutes of regulation, as the Eagles entered their third overtime game of the year. FGCU was 1-0-1 in extra time entering the game.
Both teams made bids at the golden goal in the second extra frame. Senior Jeremy Vollmer’s (Carmel, Ind./Westfield HS) shot from over 20 yards out in the 101st minute was right on target, but NKU keeper A.J. Fleak made the save and scooped up the rebound.
NKU’s chance at winning the game came in the 108th minute when an FGCU defender cleared a ball off the line after a shot had snuck by sophomore Nathan Ingham (Ontario, Canada/Keswick HS). The Norse’s scoring chance came when they held a man advantage after freshman Felipe DeSousa (Vila Velha, Brazil/Wharton HS-FL) was sent off in the 105th minute with a red card.
The tie is the first in 27 A-Sun games for FGCU, dating back to 2008, and just the third conference draw in the program’s six-year history. The Green and Blue are now 3-0-1 on the year when scoring the first goal of the game.
Ingham made four saves to help the Eagles fight-off a 16-9 shot advantage for NKU, while Fleak made three stops in frame for the Norse. The game featured a combined 36 fouls and five cards, including four yellows issued to NKU.
FGCU will continue its opening A-Sun road weekend on Saturday night when it takes on Lipscomb in Nashville. Like the Eagles, the Bisons opened up league action on Thursday, but fell to Mercer, 2-1, to slip to 3-8 on the year.
Live stats and live video through A-Sun TV are available at www.FGCUATHLETICS.com. A-Sun TV is free for all users in 2012-13, announced by the league office in August. Along with updates on the team’s official twitter page (@FGCUMensSoccer), fans can also get updates from around the Atlantic Sun and the nation by using the hashtag #ASUNMSOC or #D1MSOC.
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