9/27/2013 | Philadelphia, Pa. | Attendance: 264
, Schott, Louis)
|Stats at a Glance||FGCU||PENN|
|Shots (on Goal)||17 (9)||11 (4)|
Florida Gulf Coast
9/29/2013 | Princeton, N.J. | Attendance: 523
|Florida Gulf Coast||0||0||1||1|
|Stats at a Glance||FGCU||PRIN|
|Shots (on Goal)||10 (2)||16 (1)|
PHILADELPHIA – For third time already this year the FGCU men’s soccer team will be on display for the nation to see when it continues its roadtrip of the country with a match at the University of Pennsylvania on Friday night before making an appearance on ESPNU versus Princeton on Sunday afternoon.
Last weekend FGCU was in Seattle to play now-No. 5 Washington and Seattle University, and it continues its 8,780-mile roadtrip with a trip to the Northeast for the first time since 2008. Friday’s game is set for a 7 p.m. kickoff, with Sunday’s matinee slated for 4 p.m.
It also marks back-to-back weekends that the Eagles are on national TV as last week opposite Washington they were showcased on the Pac-12 Network. The Green and Blue commenced its campaign with a 2-2 tie at USF, which was featured as the NSCAATV National Game of the Game. The three national appearances for the Eagles are the most in a single season in program history, and Sunday’s game will mark the team’s first ESPNU telecast.
Another first in program history will take place on the pitch Friday as the Eagles and Quakers square off for the first time, while Sunday’s match against Princeton will also be the first time the two programs meet. FGCU will be looking to secure a pair of non-conference wins before beginning its defense of the Atlantic Sun Championship as league play opens next weekend.
While the Green and Blue are just 0-5-1 on the year, it has dropped four of those games by one goal, played three overtime contests and taken on two teams ranked or receiving votes in the national poll. The last time the Eagles made a journey to the Northeast they tied Hartwick, 0-0, and fell to Syracuse, 3-0, at the National Soccer Hall of Fame as part of the 2008 Mayor’s Cup in Oneonta, N.Y.
For the first time this season FGCU scored the initial goal in a game against Seattle on Sunday, breaking a season-opening five-match stretch in which it had surrendered a goal within the first 15 minutes of each contest. On the year, the Eagles have given up 11 of the 19 goals scored against them in the first half.
On the offensive side, the young Eagles – who do not have a senior on the roster – are led by sophomore Filipe DeSousa (Tampa, Fla./Wharton HS) who has a team-best four goals and 18 shots. Of FGCU’s six other goals this year, they have been tallied by four different players, and its 26 total points have been spread across nine different performers.
The Eagles have created plenty of scoring chances – in fact, they have out-shot (92-89) and out-cornered (31-30) their opponents on the year – but haven’t been able to find the back of the net consistently enough.
Defense has been an issue as well as starting goalkeeper Nathan Ingham (Ontario, Canada/Keswick HS) hasn’t been able to get consistent playing time due to an injury. Through its first six games, FGCU has surrendered more goals (19) than any other season-opening six-game stretch in the Division-I era (2007-08). The founding D-I team (2007) allowed 14 over that same time, which was the previous high.
The match against Penn will be a homecoming of sorts for FGCU head coach Bob Butehorn, who spent five seasons with the Quakers as an assistant coach from 2001-05, helping lead them to an Ivy League Championship in 2002.
Penn (2-4-0) is 2-1 at home on the year, with victories over Stony Brook and Sacred Heart prior to the completion of its renovated pitch. Penn returns 21 players from last year’s team, including eight of whom tallied goals. In addition to the returning group, TopDrawerSoccer.com listed Penn’s 2013 recruiting class as the 25th-best in the nation. The Quakers are coming off a 2-1 loss to cross-city rival Villanova on Tuesday as the Wildcats scored goals in the 76th and 80th minutes. Six different players have scored at least one goal for the Quakers, led by a foursome which each has two goals: Stephen Baker, Duke Lacroix, Alec Neumann and Louis Schott. The Quakers will conclude their weekend by welcoming FIU on Sunday, which faces Princeton on Friday.
Princeton (1-4-0) has played just one match at home so far this year – a 1-0 win over in-state foe Seton Hall. The Tigers, like Penn, played No. 19 Georgetown last week and fell, 3-2, while the Quakers were defeated, 3-0. Princeton returns nine of its 11 starters from last season when it posted an 8-6-2 record. Senior Cameron Porter was named to the Preseason First Team All-Ivy League, while Thomas Sanner, Myles McGinley, Patrick O'Neil and Seth MacMillan were named to the Second Team.
After completing its Northeast trek, the Eagles finally return home to the FGCU Soccer Complex to open A-Sun action next weekend against Lipscomb and Northern Kentucky on Friday, Oct. 4, and Sunday, Oct. 6, respectively.
2013-14 men’s soccer season tickets are now available by visiting the Alico Arena Ticket Office, calling 239-590-7145 or logging on to FGCUAthletics.com/Tickets. Season tickets are $30 for adults and $15 for youth (ages 3-12). Single-game tickets can also be purchased for $6 per adult and $3 for youth. Groups of 10+ can receive a discounted rate of $3 per person. FGCU students and faculty/staff are admitted for free with a valid University ID.