The Florida Gulf Coast University men’s soccer team almost captured its second-straight shutout last Friday night against visiting University of North Florida. The game ended in a 2-2 tie following three goals in the final ten minutes of the game. FGCU is now at 5-5-4 for the year with a 2-2-1 record in the A-Sun.
The Eagles have now extended their streak of unbeaten games at home in the regular season against league teams to 25, a nation-leading mark. They will wait a full week before stepping onto the field again when they travel to Nashville to play Lipscomb University (10-3-1, 2-1-1 A-Sun). This will be the first of the Eagles’ final three games of the season before entering the conference tournament.
The Eagles took an early lead against UNF with a penalty-kick goal in the fourth minute for the only first half goal of the game. Coming into the game FGCU was ranked 22nd in the nation for best defense with a 0.72 goals-against average.
It wasn’t until the 72nd minute when UNF scored its first goal to tie the game. FGCU was able to take the lead only five minutes later to take a late lead. The goal came off a corner-kick and went in from about six yards out by freshman Nicolas Samayoa for his first career score.
Their lead didn’t last as long this time as it took the Ospreys only 50 seconds to tie the game back up at 2-2 just minutes before the final horn.
“We got off to a fast start and wanted to get off to a fast start, and then UNF had a system of play that was throwing us a little bit of a curve where they overloaded the midfield and we just had to make an adjustment. Once we did that the game kind of settled down,” Coach Bob Butehorn said. “We started to get some more chances once that happened, but overall North Florida played a good game coming in here against us.”
The Eagles outshot UNF 24-10 landing seven of those on net. This was the first tie between the two teams; FGCU had a 7-1 record against UNF prior to Friday night. The game also added to the Eagles’ record-setting attendance this year with 632 fans in the FGCU soccer complex.
FGCU now has 10 points on the year following the tie, dropping them to second place in the conference, two points behind Stetson University. The Eagles are not to be ruled out just yet, however, as they still have a chance to take first place and claim a record fifth-straight A-Sun regular-season championship.