Men’s soccer defeats Lipscomb 2-0 for fifth straight win
Looking for its fifth straight win, the FGCU men’s soccer team defeated Lipscomb 2-0 to move into a tie with Stetson with nine points in the ASUN play.
“I’m very excited about how we went about business tonight,” FGCU head coach Jesse Cormier said. “They’re a very difficult opponent; Lipscomb’s energy and mentality makes it difficult to break their spirit. We were hoping to get a third (goal) and that would have been a catalyst for the game to be over. I’m very proud of the guys being able to match Lipscomb’s energy and create and finish the opportunities that we did.”
As both teams tried to feel each other out early on, Ivan Alvarado had the Lipscomb first shot attempt that goaltender Connor Gavigan easily handled.
With just over 10 minutes into the game, Dennis Zapata made a run and played it to Shak Adams, whose cross went to the head of Dylan Sacramento and was stopped by Christopher Zappia.
The Eagles earned a free kick outside the box after, but Preston Kilwien’s shot went wide right. With 23:41 remaining in the half, the Eagles took the lead with Robert Ferrer’s fourth goal of the season, putting FGCU up 1-0.
Once again, the nations leading scorer from last season came in as a substitute in the final third of the half, and nearly broke through on a breakaway, but was called offside. The Bisons came close to tying it up on the counter attack, but their shot went right over the cross bar, and FGCU maintained its lead.
Miguel Perez found Ruiz later, and this time he was onside with Ruiz in alone on Zappia, but his first shot was denied and Ruiz’s second shot went wide, as FGCU missed out on a great opportunity to extend the lead. Kilwien also had a great scoring chance when he came in on an attack less than five minutes later and fired a shot that went high.
FGCU earned its first corner with three minutes to go in the half, which was taken by Perez and sent into the box toward Nicolas Samayoa, but his shot went wide. Kareem Riley had another chance at a long shot similar to his sports center top-ten goal on Tuesday versus Akron, but this time the keeper was there to make his fourth save of the match. The two teams went into the break with FGCU still holding a one-goal lead.
The Eagles outshot Lipscomb 9-4 in the half with FGCU getting six substitutes into the half, as its depth continues to play a huge factor in the Eagles’ success.
To begin the second half, the Eagles earned an early corner that stayed in the box for moments, and Kilwien attempted a shot that did not go. Eli Roubos made a huge stand defensively as he was the lone man back as the Bisons came in with a dangerous scoring chance that Roubos cleared away.
The Bisons were granted a chance after a foul was called right outside the box, but Gavigan made a save to keep the Eagles ahead. Zapata had a fantastic chance a minute later for FGCU that Zappia was there for the save.
It took less than 27 minutes for the Bisons to gain a corner, which turned out to be a routine clear for FGCU. Despite not scoring, they gained a bit more possession, as Lipscomb started to press a bit more in the final part of the match.
FGCU earned a much-needed insurance goal after Ruiz’s ball to Sacramento, who finished his second of the season to put FGCU up 2-0. Sacramento then set up Ruiz, making this the Eagles’ 16th shot attempt, which came right into the hands of Zappia for his fifth save.
Lipscomb earned five corners in that the final quarter of the match, and Gavigan came up with three huge saves on those corners to earn his fifth shut out of the season in FGCU’s 2-0 win.
Even with the shutout, Gavigan gave the credit to the defense.
“We have five shutouts this season, but most of the credit goes to them,” Gavigan said. “They have been outstanding this season, outstanding.”
FGCU will remain home for the final game of a three-game homestead when FGCU plays FIU on Tuesday at 7 p.m.