On Friday night, the Eagles competed in their first game at the Peter Baldwin Memorial Classic and flew by Vermont to earn a dominant 4-0 victory. The Eagles then took on Central Connecticut State on Sunday, but suffered a tough 2-0 loss.
“Our start to the game was excellent. The guys came out sharp, we moved the ball well, defended hard and, really, created more chances than we converted,” said FGCU head coach Jesse Cormier. “With that early momentum we were able to take the crowd out of the game and get the clean sheet on the road against an NCAA Tournament team a season ago and a team I believe will make some noise again this year.
Preston Kilwien scored twice, Dennis Zapata had a goal and two assists, Dylan Sacramento issued two helpers and Robert Ferrer had the ‘game-winning’ goal just six minutes into the match.
Making his second-career start, Gavigan made seven saves to earn his first shutout.
The Eagles had their first goal from Sacramento and Ferrer in the 6th minute when the ball landed right to Ferrer as the junior hit it into the back of the net.
FGCU continued their dominance and earned their second goal of the night off of Zapata’s corner kick, taking a 2-0 lead.
Moments after, the lead grew to three after Sacramento slid a pass across the middle of the box to Zapata, who earned another goal for the team.
Coming back out from halftime, the Eagles quickly got back on the board from Kilwien’s second goal of the match, making the score 4-0.
Threatening the Eagles lead, Jon Arnar Barddal of Vermont stepped up to take a penalty kick, but Gavigan made a diving save to keep the shutout alive.
Vermont had more chances in the second half, but FGCU’s defensive line was unstoppable, making it tough for Vermont to execute.
The Eagles then took on Central Connecticut State on Sunday, but despite a dominant performance against Vermont, FGCU suffered a tough 2-0 loss.
CCSU scored the game-winning goal in the 64th minute and added another goal with just 32 seconds remaining in the match.
FGCU created plenty of chances but couldn’t convert on any of them, ending with a rare shutout.
“I’m disappointed because we had plenty of chances to not only win this game, but put it out reach very early and we didn’t take advantage,” commented FGCU head coach Jesse Cormier. “Give CCSU credit – they refused to roll over and fought hard to get a result. But we have a long way to go. I understand we’re going through some adversity right now down a few men, but in order to be the team we want to be we need to be more consistent and get more heart, character and leadership throughout the lineup.”
After a two-goal performance against Vermont, Preston Kilwien nearly had another after Miguel Jaime sent a perfect corner kick to Kilwien, but his attempt was bounded back.
From then, the Eagles continued to attack offensively having an 11-2 shot advantage in the first, but with the team unable to convert, FGCU was at a standstill.
Play started to even out in the second half as CCSU started to create more chance and eventually converted in the 64th minute.
The Eagles continued to pressure CCSU but was unable to before CCSU scored again with just 32 second left in the match.
Kilwien, Jaime and Samayoa were named to the Peter Baldwin Memorial All-Tournament Team for their performances on Friday and Sunday.
Next, the Eagles will host VCU at the Soccer Complex on Sunday, September 10th at 7 p.m.