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No. 24 FGCU Stays Unbeaten in A-Sun; Downs Campbell,1-0
BUIES CREEK, N.C. – Extending their perfect conference start to five games, the No. 24 FGCU men’s soccer team dropped Campbell, 1-0, on Thursday evening in Buies Creek, N.C. Striking midway through the second half of play, sophomore Andres Navas (Miami, Fla./Sunset Senior HS/FIU) provided the decisive tally for the Eagles.
With Stetson falling to Mercer, 1-0, the Eagles are the only unbeaten remaining in the conference and now sit alone atop the standings at 9-2-2 overall and a perfect 5-0 in the A-Sun. The Eagles continue to ride a program-best seven-game winning streak and the nine wins on the year passes their season total from all of 2009. FGCU has recorded shutouts in each of its last four wins, and has now held six opponents scoreless in the 2010 campaign.
Campbell dropped to 4-4-4 overall (2-2 A-Sun) and saw its three-match unbeaten string halted. The Camels had not dropped a home regular season A-Sun contest since their 1-0 setback to North Florida on Oct. 6, 2007.
“We had a number of chances in the first half that just missed the goal, but I was pleased with the way the guys kept their composure throughout the game,” said reigning A-Sun Coach of the Year Bob Butehorn. “I have to give Campbell credit because it’s always tough to compete at their place and they gave us a difficult contest tonight.”
Following a handball just outside the box, the No. 24 Eagles were able to break the deadlock when Navas took advantage of his free kick opportunity in the 58th minute of play. As his first collegiate goal proved to be the game-winner, Navas became the 11th student-athlete to record a goal this season for the Blue and Green.
In the scoreless first half the Eagles controlled the tempo of the game, holding a 6-3 advantage in the shot total and level in corner kicks at one apiece.
The Eagles threatened in just the third minute when freshman Donovan Henry’s (Parkland, Fla./Stoneman Douglas HS) through ball found junior Josey Portillo (Metairie, La./Grace King HS) inside the box, but Campbell keeper Ethan Hall left his feet to stop the point-blank chance.
FGCU nearly got on the board in the 14th minute on freshman Ryan Price’s (Melbourne Beach, Fla./Melbourne Central Catholic) diving header off a cross from Portillo, but Price’s effort rolled just wide of the far post.
As the second half played out, the Eagles continued to outshoot the Camels, 10-9, but just the lone goal from Navas would find the back of the net as the Eagles went on to claim the 1-0 victory, and stay unblemished in conference play.
Campbell sent a total of three shots on goal, all of which in the second half, forcing redshirt keeper Adam Glick (Leola, Pa./Conestoga Valley HS) to record a trio of saves. Glick now holds 23 victories and 14 career shutouts in net, both of which are program bests. Campbell’s Hall finished the contest with a total of eight saves.
The No. 24 Eagles look to continue their winning ways as they close out the road trip with a Saturday evening matchup with Mercer (7-3-1, 2-2) in Macon, Ga. The Bears have won five of their last seven contests, highlighted by a 1-0 victory over then-No. 29 UAB on the road. Kick-off for the second contest of the trip is scheduled for 7 p.m.