By Chase Henry
Depth was the key for FGCU as the men’s soccer team (3-0-1) beat Georgia Southern 5-1 in a hotly contested offensive display on Sunday afternoon. The warm weather didn’t seem to slow either team down, as FGCU had 21 shots and Georgia Southern had nine shots.
Georgia Southern jumped out of the gate to an early lead with a goal from Alhaji Tambadu in the fifth minute. FGCU did not lose focus, as the team responded with an equalizing goal in the 14th minute from sophomore forward O’Vonte Mullings, assisted on the play by senior forward Shak Adams and junior midfielder Kareem Riley.
The assist moves Adams into third all-time at FGCU for assists, with 13, just one assist behind Arion Sobers-Assue in second place, for most assists over a career.
FGCU gained the lead with a goal from freshman forward Aiden Jokomba in the 43rd minute. Jokomba scored his first collegiate goal with his first touch of the game, coming into the game as a substitute just seconds beforehand.
Georgia Southern started the second half with as much intensity as they opened the match, trying to find their second goal in the match. On the other hand, FGCU opened the second half with more possession and slower play, trying to catch Georgia Southern on the counter.
The momentum Georgia Southern had been building since the start of the second half all but vanished after redshirt junior defender Thomas Deplace scored his first goal for FGCU in the 70th minute off of a corner kick from senior midfielder Miguel Perez.
Perez put up an impressive performance in the game off of the bench by dictating the play in the midfield for FGCU.
In the 78th minute, senior midfielder Jahan Rajaee scored his first goal of the season to put FGCU up 4-1. Six minutes later, junior midfielder Michael Luke scored his first goal of the season, which saw FGCU’s lead rise to 5-1.
With the result out of the question late in the game, FGCU was able to save some legs by substituting most of the lineup, which in total allowed more than 20 players to play in the game.
Up next for FGCU is a road trip to California where the team will take on UC Riverside Friday, September 13, at 10 p.m.