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FIU Tops Men's Soccer, 3-2, in Regular Season Finale
|Florida Gulf Coast||2||0||2|
|FGCU||27:52||PORTILLO, Josey (SHARPE, Tyler )|
|FIU||87:42||Nicolas Rodriguez (Colby Burdette )|
|Stats at a Glance||FGCU||FIU|
|Shots (on Goal)||13 (5)||15 (4)|
MIAMI, Fla. – Closing the regular season slate with a trip to Miami, Fla., the FGCU men’s soccer team dropped a closely contested match with FIU on Friday. The Eagles surrendered the decisive strike in the 88th minute of play, falling to the Panthers by a final score of 3-2 at the FIU Soccer Complex.
In the losing effort, the Eagles conclude the 2011 regular season with a 10-5-2 overall record, while the Panthers improved to 5-8-4 with the victory.
Taking an early lead in the contest, FIU got on the board in just the ninth minute of play. Set up on a corner kick entry, Andri Alexandersson recorded his second goal of the season on a rebound shot to the lower corner of the goal.
Scoring a pair of unanswered goals, the Eagles would head into the intermission holding a 2-1 lead. Following a foul on FIU, junior midfielder Andres Navas (Miami, Fla./Sunset Senior HS/FIU) made good on his free kick opportunity with a strike into the back of the net at the 22:38 mark. It was Navas’ fourth goal this season.
Just five minutes later, senior midfielder Josey Portillo (Metairie, La./Grace King HS) put the Eagles out in front with a goal in the 28th minute. After senior midfielder Tyler Sharpe’s (Merritt Island, Fla./Merritt Island HS) shot caromed off the crossbar, Portillo was there to send the rebound past FIU’s keeper Eric Reyes for his third goal of the season.
As the teams headed to the break, the Eagles held a commanding 10-2 lead in shots, while FIU had a slight 3-2 advantage in corner kicks.
FIU picked up momentum in the second half of play, scoring the final two goals of the evening. Colby Burdette leveled the contest at 2-2 in the 59th minute on an unassisted rebound shot past FGCU freshman keeper Nathan Ingham (Ontario, Canada/Keswick HS). Burdette would later setup teammate Nicolas Rodrigues for the game-winning goal at the 87:42 mark.
The final line on the contest showed FIU atop the shots column, 15-13, while both teams took four corner kicks in the match. Ingham finished the night with one save, while FIU’s Reyes picked up a trio of saves in the game.
Making the program’s first-ever appearance, the Green and Blue will continue into the postseason as the Atlantic Sun Conference Tournament No. 1 seed after posting a 7-1 mark in league play and clinching their second consecutive A-Sun regular season title. The Eagles received a bye into the semifinals of the tournament, where they will take on the winner of fourth-seeded Mercer and fifth-seeded Lipscomb on Friday, Nov. 11 in Johnson City, Tenn. The Bears and Bisons' opening quarterfinal match is set for Wednesday, Nov. 9 beginning at 4 p.m.
Live stats, in-game Twitter updates (@FGCUMensSoccer and @FGCUEagles), results and recaps from the 2011 Atlantic Sun Conference Tournament will be available www.FGCUAthletics.com.