Men's Soccer Set to Host Final 2009 Home Games
Wednesday, October 21, 2009 | by Caleb Baker

FORT MYERS, Fla. – As the 2009 soccer season nears completion, the Florida Gulf Coast University men’s soccer team is set to play the final two home games of the year. The Eagles are to host A-Sun Conference games against Mercer on Thursday and Campbell on Saturday at the FGCU Soccer Complex.

The Eagles head into this weeks contests with a 6-6-1 record on the year and are 4-2-0 in A-Sun Conference play.

FGCU went 3-1 last week playing one home game and two games on the road. The Eagles defeated Lipscomb 2-1 at home and USC Upstate 1-0 in OT on the road. Also, the team fell to East Tennessee State 3-0 in a road loss.

The Eagles continue to receive solid minutes from Freshman Westin Vallentine (Spring, Texas) and Sophomore Cristian Raudales (Bradenton, Fla.). Vallentine hit the game winning goal in OT against USC Upstate and has five goals, ten points, 15 shots, 11 shots on goal, and two game winning goals on the season. Raudales has five goals, one assist, 11 points, 20 shots, nine shots on goal, and three game winners (leads the A-Sun).

Goalkeeper Matthew Smith (Cape Canaveral, Fla.) has played every minute in goal for the Eagles and is fourth in the A-Sun in save percentage (.742), fourth in saves (49), fourth in goals against average (1.26.), and tied for first in shutouts (5) in 13 games.

The Eagles take on Mercer on Thursday and Campbell on Saturday with both games scheduled to start at 7 p.m.


Series Information with Mercer: This is the third meeting between the schools. Series tied 1-1-0.

Last Meeting – 10/2/2008, FGCU 1, Mercer 4
The Bears scored the match’s first goal when freshman Philip Thoren set up Ian Cameron to knock in a right-footed kick into the right corner of the net in the 16th minute.

The Bears gained a two-goal cushion at the 36:42 mark when a Mercer forward pounded a header into the right side of the goal.

Cameron got his second goal of the match off a penalty kick in the 38th minute, giving the Bears a 3-0 lead at intermission.

The Eagles scored their only goal of the match in the 79th minute after Cristian Raudales (Bradenton, Fla.) won a jump ball and flicked a header into the right side of the net past the Mercer goalkeeper.

With Mercer leading 3-1, a Mercer forward capitalized on a penalty kick for his second goal of the match to give the Bears a 4-1 lead.


Series Information with Campbell: This is the third meeting between the schools. FGCU trails 0-1-0

Last Meeting – 10/4/2008, FGCU 2, Campbell 3

Khalil Johnson got Campbell on the board first in the 31st minute after a FGCU handball in the Camel defensive third. The Camel keeper hit a deep service toward his front line. Khalil Johnson went up for a header, then regained control before blasting a right-footed shot from about 22 yards off the crossbar and into the goal.

Leading 1-0 at the break, the Camels came out in the second half and immediately tried to double their lead but FGCU’s keeper dove to his left to stop a 62nd minute shot and keep the Eagle deficit at one.

Johnson scored his second goal of the game in the 70th minute when Justin Madrid gained possession in Campbell’s half of the field and passed to a Mercer teammate, who then hit the ball into space behind the Eagle back line and Johnson then lofted a shot over the FGCU keeper to give the Camels a 2-0 lead.

Just over two minutes later, however, the Eagles pulled within one when Manuel Gonzalez’s (Pompano Beach, Fla.) restart service was headed home by Francesco DiStefano (Kissimmee, Fla.).

DiStefano almost tied the game in the 75th minute, but his long-range left footed shot carried over the cross bar.

Vince Petrasso increaded Campbell's lead when Soto stole the ball in the midfield and split the defense. Petrasso then finished his chance with a low ball into the far post for a 3-1 Camel lead at the 76:12 mark.

The Eagles pushed forward and found the back of the goal in the 82nd minute when an FGCU midfielder punched a cross pass to an FGCU forward, who scored on a right-footed shot into the goal. However, the Eagles were unable to get off a shot and could not force overtime in the final 8:43.

Campbell outshot FGCU 17-10, including a 9-6 advantage in shots on goal.

Campbell’s keeper made four saves for the Camels, while the FGCU keeper, who made his first collegiate start in goal, had six stops for the Eagles.