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FGCU Falls in Penalty Kicks at USF in NCAA Tournament
|Stats at a Glance||FGCU||USFM|
|Shots (on Goal)||5 (2)||9 (6)|
FORT MYERS, Fla. – After 110 minutes of scoreless action that included six highlight-reel saves by sophomore keeper Nathan Ingham (Ontario, Canada/Keswick HS), the FGCU men’s soccer team fell 5-3 in penalty kicks at USF ending its season in heart-breaking fashion Thursday night in the NCAA Tournament first round at Corbett Soccer Stadium.
USF’s Leston Paul put home the final penalty kick that sent the Bulls into the second round, barely beating Ingham, who guessed right on all five shots, getting his hands on two. The Bulls (8-5-5) advance to host No. 11 seed Tulsa on Sunday.
“I can’t express how proud of my team and the effort they put forth in this game and the entire season,” said head coach Bob Butehorn, who has led FGCU to back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances in its first two years of postseason eligibility. “There’s no good way to lose a game, but this is extra tough. That’s a great group of guys and I can’t thank our seniors enough for what they’ve done for this program.”
FGCU, who entered the game on the nation’s third-longest win streak (8), finishes the year with an 11-5-3 record, good for its third straight double-digit win campaign. The Eagles will enter 2013 on a nine-game unbeaten streak (8-0-1) that includes eight shutouts. FGCU has won three straight A-Sun regular season titles and the last two A-Sun Tournament championships.
The overtime game was the third in a row for the Green and Blue, who went 4-0-3 in games that went into at least one extra frame.
Ingham made at least one save in each of the halves and overtime periods, lowering his season goals against average (GAA) to 0.98 for the year thanks to his A-Sun-leading ninth shutout. The FGCU five-man defense of Ingham, sophomore Federico Crespo (Heredia, Costa Rica/St. Paul College/Universidad Latina) and trio of freshmen Aaron Guillen (Chihuahua, Mexico/Coronado HS-Texas), Daniel Stanese (Pitt Meadows, British Columbia/Pitt Meadows Secondary) and Luis Vega (Guatemala City, Mexico/Montverde Academy-FL) played the final six games together, allowing one goal over 592 minutes.
The only senior class in FGCU history to finish with four straight winning seasons, Deion Jones (Tampa, Fla./Freedom HS), Will Morse (Sugar Land, Texas/Clements HS), Andres Navas (Miami, Fla./Sunset Senior HS/FIU), Jelani Smith (Mississauga, Ontario/Rick Hansen Secondary) and Jeremy Vollmer (Carmel, Ind./Westfield HS) all saw time on Thursday night. The class won 43 games over there four years, went 27-5-1 in the A-Sun regular season and 4-0 in the A-Sun Tournament.