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A look into the upcoming ASUN tournament: men’s soccer

A look into the upcoming ASUN tournament: men’s soccer
EN Photo by Bret Munson // The FGCU men's soccer team celebrates a goal at an evening home game

Jordyn Matez

Sports Editor

Following a 4-1 win on the road against Jacksonville University on Oct. 27, the FGCU men’s soccer team has finalized their regular season conference record of 5-1 in the ASUN conference. This record has aided the Eagles in tying for the top seed in the ASUN conference championship tournament, awarding them not only a bye-week in the first round, but a home-field advantage as well.

Though FGCU is tied for the top seed with Lipscomb University, the Eagles have defaulted to the No. 2 seed in order to finalize the tournament bracket.  Being the No.1 and No.2 seeds in the tournament, FGCU and Lipscomb automatically skip the quarterfinals and advance to the tournament’s semifinals with each game being played at their respective home field.

As the tournament stands, the Eagles will be playing the winner of the quarterfinal game between the No.6 seed Stetson University and the No.3 seed UNF. This game will also be played on FGCU’s Soccer Complex.

As far as FGCU’s odds are going into the semifinals, the Eagles can only hope that history will repeat itself from earlier this season. The Eagles played Stetson in early October and came out on top with a comfortable 3-1 win, while completely shutting out UNF 5-0 just last week. Stetson is entering the ASUN tournament with a 1-4-1 conference record, while UNF is 3-3 in conference play. As for the last time these two teams met, Stetson defeated UNF 2-0 late in the regular season.

The Eagles have seen a pretty steady regular season throughout 2018. Their season began in late August with a shutout loss against Charlotte University, and it was unsure whether this would impact the momentum of the Eagles overall regular season play. Thankfully for FGCU fans, the next game against Presbyterian College handed them a win and gave players and fans alike hope for a successful season.

Most importantly, the Eagles soared in conference play, with all of their conference wins not coming within at least a two-goal match. Their most successful conference accomplishment came late in the season with the 5-0 win over UNF.

This being said, FGCU’s only conference loss of the season came from a 2-3 loss against Lipscomb, who may very well be their competition should the Eagles move forward to the finals.

The Eagles will be looking for a fourth conference title after entering the tournament in 2011 and clinching a championship win against then-conference rival ETSU. While the winning streak continued in 2012 with a conference championship win over Mercer, FGCU’s third win didn’t come until four years later with a win over Jacksonville University in 2016.

If the Eagles advance to the championship game, they will play at the home field of the top remaining seed on Saturday, Nov. 10.

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