The Florida Gulf Coast University men’s soccer team returns home next week for another marquee match against Washington at 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 18. The Huskies are currently No. 10 in the nation with a 4-1-0 record. Washington went 16-2-4 last year, won the Pac 12 Conference title and reached the quarterfinals of the NCAA Tournament after earning the No. 2 overall seed. The Huskies finished the campaign ranked No. 5 in the nation and return eight starters from that team. Following the game with Washington, FGCU welcomes Brown to the FGCU Soccer Complex at 7 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 20.
Coupled with its 1-0 setback to Saint Mary’s, the 1-0 loss Friday at San Francisco marks the first time in program history that FGCU has dropped consecutive 1-0 contests in regulation.
The No. 24-ranked FGCU men’s soccer team controlled play throughout the match against St. Mary’s this past Sunday. The Eagles held a 19-7 shot edge and had a one-man advantage for more than 40 minutes but ultimately couldn’t find a goal.
Saint Mary’s only had two shots on goal all game, but one found the back of the net as Will Kendall headed in the first goal in the 78th minute off a free kick following a Nicholas Samayoa foul which resulted in a yellow card.
“This was another extremely frustrating game for us,” head coach Bob Butehorn said. “We controlled a majority of the play but just couldn’t finish and that’s something that needs to change moving forward. Saint Mary’s got a well-deserved win, especially playing down a man.”
In the second half, FGCU racked up eight corners, nine shots overall and five on frame. Following the Gaels’ goal, Samayoa was issued a straight red card in the 85th minute for shoving down a Saint Mary’s player.
The Eagles surrendered a penalty kick goal in the 79th minute Friday evening playing with 10 men as the University of San Francisco claimed a 1-0 win over the Eagles in their first road game of the season.
“I thought we certainly played well enough to win, but we needed to do a better job tonight – and moving forward – of putting shots on frame,” Butehorn said. “I give credit to San Francisco for making the most of the opportunities they had, and we just need to find a way to bounce back on Sunday against Saint Mary’s.”
The Green and Blue had two set-piece opportunities just beyond the top of the San Francisco box over the final six minutes. However, both shots from second-half substitute Felipe DeSousa went awry; the first in the 84th minute over the crossbar and the second in the 87th minute, which was blocked out of bounds.
Playing its home opener with a first-year coach, San Francisco finished with a 13-11 shot advantage, but each team put three shots on net. Ingham, who entered the evening tied for 11th in the nation with a .923 save percentage, made two saves on the evening and intercepted several other crosses.
After a few minutes of sloppy action to start the game, FGCU settled in and controlled much of the early action, jumping out to a 5-1 shot edge just 18 minutes into the contest. FGCU’s first good look of the evening came in the 11th minute when Madrid ripped a left-footed shot, which was saved by USF keeper Chase Hauser.
Hauser was tested again, not even 40 seconds later, when freshman forward Albert Ruiz attempted a bouncing shot from a close angle, but Hauser was once again equal to the task.
Six minutes later, midfielder Miguel Jaime fired a shot from which went high, and not even a minute following the freshman’s effort fellow classmate Arion Sobers-Assue headed a ball just over the bar.
The goal that FGCU allowed was just the second of the season, which spans 400 minutes over four games. The backline, anchored in the middle by standout freshman Samayoa and veteran Aaron Guillen, pitched consecutive shutouts to open the year, and FGCU entered Friday’s contest with a 0.29 goals-against average, which was 13th-best in the country.