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FGCU Men’s Soccer Draws Last Home Game Against UCA on Senior Night

Jessica Piland

On Saturday, Oct. 21, FGCU broke their three-game losing streak with a 1-1 draw against the University of Central Arkansas on senior night. This was the last home game of the regular season. Now with a 2-1-3 conference record, this brings FGCU into fourth place in the ASUN Conference, tied with Jacksonville, although the Eagles have yet to clinch an ASUN Championship berth.

In celebration of senior night, FGCU honored the senior contributions of Wyatt Kistner, Anthony Rowan, Linus Dahl, Marcos Da Paz, Luke Peperak, Landon Ameres, Gustavo Ferrari, Jahvanie Hammond, Jonathan Bryant and Alejandro Rodriguez before the game began.

It was an aggressive start in the first half by both teams. UCA’s first contact with the ball made it into the box and their first shot was within the first minute of the game. A strong defensive game was played while both goalkeepers kept the pace under control as FGCU maintained possession of the ball primarily.

The lack of strong offensive play had been Eagles’ drawback in the past few games which was quite the opposite against the Bears. Multiple attempts at a goal were made by freshman forward Job Choute from the left side of the box, crossing the ball but just missing the net. An impressive four shots were taken by junior forward Shoki Yoshida. FGCU took a total of 15 shots in the first half, but heading into the half, it was still knotted up at 0-0.

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The Bears came back to start the second half with a little bit of short lived offensive momentum. However, the ball was captured by the Eagles shortly thereafter. Junior forward Niall Reid-Stephen then took advantage of the prime scoring chance, scoring the first goal of the game in the 56th minute to give the Eagles a 1-0 lead. It was Reid-Stephen’s first goal of the season and it came at a crucial time, with Choute credited for the assist.

Central Arkansas would not back down lightly despite the deficit. With help from a clearing of the ball, the Bears quickly responded with a goal of their own in the 61st minute to tie the game back up at 1-1.

A red card was issued to a Bears player after a collision after the player had received a yellow card earlier, leading to an automatic ejection. The Bears, despite that, only committed three fouls, with two being yellow cards and the other being the aforementioned red card. The Eagles committed 14 fouls but only received yellow cards for three of those.

An amazing save was made by FGCU sophomore goalkeeper Daniel Copeland in the game’s final minutes. With little time left, FGCU pushed up the field for one last shot before the game ended, but the shot just missed the net as both teams earned a point in the draw.

With only two games left in the regular season, the Eagles have a non-conference game up next. They will first head to Boca Raton to face the FAU Owls later today. Then, FGCU wraps up the regular season with one final ASUN Conference game at Queens University of Charlotte on Saturday. Heading into these last two games with an overall record of 3-5-5 and a conference record of 2-1-3, the Eagles look to clinch a berth in the ASUN Championship to keep their season alive.

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About the Contributor
Jessica Piland
Jessica Piland, Eagle News Photo Editor
Jessica Piland is a senior majoring in political science and minoring in global studies. She found her passion for photography during her senior year of high school after shooting some film for fun with her grandfather’s camera from the 80s. In addition to her work as photo editor for Eagle News, she works as a staff photographer for FGCU Athletics and is a photography intern with the University Marketing and Communications department. As she enters her third year as photo editor, she is excited for the fun stories, campus events, and breaking news that Eagle News will be covering!

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