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FGCU Suffers 2-1 Setback to VCU
|VCU||4:05||JOHNSON, Jason (FISHER, Devon )|
|FGCU||21:57||PENAGOS, Henry (NAVAS, Andres , DeSOUSA, Felipe)|
|VCU||75:29||MERAZ, Mario Herrera|
|Stats at a Glance||VCU||FGCU|
|Shots (on Goal)||6 (4)||9 (3)|
Rams snap Green and Blue’s three-game win streak
FORT MYERS, Fla. – VCU used a Mario Herrera Meraz’s goal in the 75th minute to break a 1-1 tie and held on to a 2-1 win over the FGCU men’s soccer team late Friday on the opening night of the Courtyard By Marriott Classic.
The loss snap’s a program-best three-game non-conference win streak for the Eagles and evens their record at 3-3 on the season. VCU, who came into the weekend No. 4 in the NSCAA Mid-Atlantic region, remains unbeaten at 4-0-2.
FGCU will have less than 48 hours until it gets a chance to bounce back, as it and No. 21 Furman will square off in the final game of the Classic on Sunday at 2:30 p.m. Earlier in the night in a game that featured a lengthy lightning delay, Furman improved to 5-1-1 with a hard-fought 2-1 victory over previously-unbeaten FIU (5-1).
The Eagles showed good poise in the first half, recovering from a VCU goal by Jason Johnson at the 4:05 mark with the equalizer in the 22nd minute. Freshman Felipe DeSousa (Vila Velha, Brazil/Wharton HS) started the play with a strong carry through the middle of the field before he found senior Andres Navas (Miami, Fla./Sunset Senior HS) on the left flank. Navas played a ball to redshirt sophomore Henry Penagos (Margate, Fla./American Heritage School of Boca/Delray), who flicked a header into the net for the team’s first goal in the first half this season. The goal was the second of Penagos’ career.
Despite the momentum of the goal helping FGCU finish the first half with a 7-4 edge in shots and much of the time of possession, the contest remained tied 1-1 after the opening 45 minutes.
Sophomore Santiago Echeverri (Kissimmee, Fla./Celebration HS) nearly gave FGCU the lead out of the break, drilling a shot from the right flank in the 47th minute that was kept out of the back of the net with a diving save from VCU keeper Andrew Wells.
Much of the second half was played in the middle half of the field until the Rams put home the eventual game-winner at the 75:29 mark. Herrera Meraz was able to work himself a clear shot from the left side of the goal box that was slightly deflected, but still strong enough to tuck into the top right corner of the net for a 2-1 VCU lead.
FGCU had a few bids at equaling the score, but nothing materialized into another equalizer, as it fell to 1-1 all-time against VCU. The Eagles beat the Rams by the very same score in 2010 at the Richmond Classic.
Sophomore keeper Nathan Ingham (Ontario, Canada/Keswick HS) saw his two-game shutout streak come to an end in the loss. Ingham made a pair of saves on the night. FGCU finished with a slight 9-6 edge in shots, while advantage in corner kicks went to the Rams, 6-3.
Fans can follow Sunday’s action on twitter @FGCUMensSoccer and @FGCUEagles or via live stats on www.FGCUATHLETICS.com. Fans can also get men’s soccer updates from around the Atlantic Sun and the nation by using the hashtag #ASUNMSOC or #D1MSOC on twitter.