Men’s soccer upsets #17 UNC Charlotte
By Chase Henry
The FGCU men’s soccer team (7-6-2) beat No. 17 UNC Charlotte, by a score of 1-0 Tuesday evening at home.
“We’ve been coming together as a unit throughout the season,” said sophomore forward O’Vonte Mullings. “We’ve had rough times, but we’ve come together in the last stretch of games. We strive together and fight for each other every day on the practice field and on the game field.”
The opening 16 minutes was a fast-paced action with numerous goal-scoring opportunities between both teams.
As the first half wore on, both teams settled into their rhythm. This rhythm seemed to benefit the Eagles, as Miguel Perez scored the only goal of the night in the 33rd minute.
Miguel Perez received the ball outside of the box, drove into the 49ers penalty area and passed to Alex Guichard. Guichard ended up losing the ball, and Perez was waiting to scoop it up and calmly slotted the ball past the goalkeeper’s near post.
The best goal-scoring opportunity for Charlotte came in the 44th minute, with the ball racing across the face of the FGCU goal and ultimately going out of bounds.
The opening 20 minutes of the second half mirrored the opening of the game with numerous goal-scoring opportunities for both teams.
With the game starting to wind down, the Eagles became more defensive in an effort to preserve the 1-0 lead. Even in the change in tactics, FGCU still got on the offensive when good opportunities presented itself.
In the end, FGCU outshot Charlotte 12-to-8 and attempted two more corners at 6-to-4. Connor Gavigan made two saves to keep the clean sheet intact for the Eagles.
This win for men’s soccer is the program’s first win over a ranked opponent at home since 2017 when the Eagles beat No. 24 Omaha, 3-2, and Charlotte is the highest-ranked opponent to lose at FGCU since No. 5 Ohio State lost to the Eagles in 2010.
“Our confidence is high right now,” said O’Vonte Mullings. “Were playing beautiful football. We’re happy and relaxed with more games to come.”
FGCU men’s soccer will face-off against NJIT for first place in the ASUN this Saturday, Oct. 26 at 7 p.m. on senior night