LAS VEGAS, Nev. – The FGCU Men’s Soccer Team got back on the winning track with a 3-0 win over UC Riverside at the UNLV Rebel Classic in Las Vegas, Nev. on Friday night. Freshmen Westin Vallentine, Jelani Smith, and Donatto Punyed each put shots into the back of the net for the Eagles.
With the victory, FGCU advances to 2-3-1 on the season and UC Riverside moves to 1-4-0 on the year.
“It was a good win for us tonight,” said head coach Bob Butehorn. “We’ve had a couple unlucky results lately, but we showed our bite and our maturity to earn a solid win. We kept the sheet clean and got goals from out young guys. It was a good win, and we are looking forward to our match on Sunday.”
The Eagles came out firing early, recording the first shot of the match in the first minute of play and allowing the UC Riverside goal keeper to get his first save.
FGCU would finally get on the board in the 36th minute when Freshman Vallentine (Spring, Texas) dribbled into the box and blasted a shot into the top right corner for an unassisted goal.
The remainder of the half would play out with no other balls reaching the back of the net. The score at intermission remained 1-0 in favor of the Eagles.
The Eagles would light up the scoreboard again when Freshman Jelani Smith (Mississauga, Canada) took a shot from inside the box that went through the UC Riverside goal keeper in the 73rd minute of play. It was Smith’s first collegiate goal.
With a 2-0 lead, FGCU still wasn’t finished finding the back of the net. In the 82nd minute, Sophomore Jonathan Hohn (Royal Palm Beach, Fla.) sent a nice cross to the middle of the box allowing Freshman Punyed (Doral, Fla.) to record his first collegiate goal by sending a shot to the left post and into the goal. This would prove to be the final score of the night with FGCU on top 3-0.
FGCU goal keeper Matthew Smith (Cape Canaveral, Fla.) earned his second shutout of the season and tallied seven saves in the contest.
The Eagles recorded 12 shots, with six shots on goal, and one corner kick.
UC Riverside took 19 shots, with seven shots on goal, and seven corner kicks.
The FGCU Men’s Soccer team will be back on the field Sunday, September 20th against UNLV in their second game at the UNLV Rebel Classic. The game is scheduled to start at 4 p.m. EST.