@FGCU_MSoccer Begins A-Sun Title Defense At Home This Weekend
Thursday, October 03, 2013 | by Jason MacBain (@JaBain)
The three-time defending Atlantic Sun Conference Champion FGCU men's soccer team begins its title defense this weekend. (Photo Courtesy: Linwood Ferguson)
The three-time defending Atlantic Sun Conference Champion FGCU men's soccer team begins its title defense this weekend. (Photo Courtesy: Linwood Ferguson)
Lipscomb (4-5-1 (0-1-0 A-Sun))
Florida Gulf Coast (3-5-1 (1-0-0 A-Sun))
10/4/2013 | Fort Myers, Fla. | Attendance: 397
Florida Gulf Coast101
FGCU25:43PENAGOS, Henry (WILKS, Skylar , ROBLEDO, David)
LIPBLEDSOE, Micah90:0013
FGCUGEORGE, Danny90:0004
Stats at a GlanceLIPFGCU
Shots (on Goal)15 (4)9 (4)
Corner Kicks66
Yellow Cards25

FORT MYERS, Fla. – The three-time defending Atlantic Sun Conference Champion FGCU men’s soccer team begins its defense of a fourth-straight title this weekend as it commences league action by welcoming Lipscomb and Northern Kentucky to the FGCU Soccer Complex on Friday and Sunday, respectively.

The Eagles open the weekend by facing the Bisons on Friday evening at 7 before wrapping it up with a Sunday matinee – their only home afternoon game of the season – on Sunday at 1 against the Norse. Both games will be video streamed for free on FGCUAthletics.com and ASun.TV, with live stats also available for each match. Additionally, live updates and photos can be found by following @FGCU_MSoccer on Twitter and interacting with the hashtags #WeAreFGCU and #ASunMSoc.

FGCU has won each of the past two A-Sun Conference Championship titles, and in 2010 it claimed the regular-season crown but was not eligible for the postseason tournament due to a Division-I reclassification period. Coupled with the women’s soccer team, FGCU is the only school in the nation that has won its men’s and women’s soccer regular-season and postseason championship each of the past two years.

The Eagles will be trying to become the first team in conference history to claim four-straight outright regular-season titles. FGCU went 6-1-1 (19 points) in 2012, 7-1 (21 points) in 2011 and a perfect 9-0 (27 points) in 2010 for a cumulative mark of 22-2-2 over the past three seasons. In that span, 75 possible points could have been earned during the regular season, and FGCU has claimed 67 of them.

The Green and Blue enter conference action playing its best soccer of the season as they claimed a pair of overtime victories last weekend at Penn and Princeton. Last Friday versus Penn – where head coach Bob Butehorn spent five seasons as an assistant – sophomore Felipe DeSousa (Tampa, Fla./Wharton HS) scored the game-winning goal with less than a minute remaining in the first extra session to propel the Eagles to a 3-2 win.

Sunday in front of FGCU’s third national TV audience of the year on ESPNU, DeSousa was back at it, assisting on the game’s only goal – this time off the foot of freshman Will Suedois (Miami Shores, Fla./Florida Virtual School) – just three minutes into OT to give the Eagles a 1-0 victory over Princeton.

For his efforts to close non-conference play, DeSousa was tabbed as the A-Sun Player of the Week and the Sunshine Soccer News Player of the Week. The A-Sun honor is the second of his career, with the first coming last October after he tallied a pair of goals against Jacksonville. The forward’s strike opposite Penn was the sixth game-winner of his career, tying him atop the program’s all-time game-winning goals chart with 2011 graduate Christian Raudales. The 12 career goals also ties the sophomore for second in that category with 2011 grad Scott Harrison, and his 26 points are sixth all-time. Entering league play this weekend, the native Brazilian ranks second in the A-Sun in points with 11, just one behind Lipscomb’s Omar Djabi.

Lipscomb enters with a 4-4-1 record and will be looking for its second straight win after defeating Missouri State 1-0 on Sunday. The Nashville-based school ranks second in the conference in goals scored with 11 and third in team saves with 32. The aforementioned Djabi is tied with DeSousa for the league lead in goals with five, which ranks 20th nationally. Micah Bledsoe is second in the A-Sun with 32 saves and a goals against average of 1.30. The freshman goalie has recorded all decisions for the Bisons on the year and has one shutout to his credit. FGCU leads the all-time series, 5-2, and ended the Bisons’ season last year with a 2-1 defeat in double-overtime at the A-Sun semifinals.

After finishing 7-10-1 in their first season in the A-Sun, the Norse are currently 3-2-4.  Riding a five-game unbeaten streak that includes two wins and three ties, NKU will be looking for its first win against FGCU. Last season in their first meeting, the Eagles and Norse played to a 1-1 draw. NKU, which begins its weekend at Stetson on Friday, is in its second of a four-year reclassification period and is ineligible for the postseason tournament.

Next weekend the Eagles return to action at ETSU on Friday, Oct. 11, before completing their roadtrip at USC Upstate on Sunday, Oct. 13.

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.