Eagles win OT thriller on national television
For every dark tunnel, there is a light at the end.
The 2013 season for Florida Gulf Coast University’s Men’s Soccer team started off as a tunnel for the Eagles, going 0-5-1 to start the year. The defending Atlantic Sun champions have struggled in nonconference play to begin the season, including dropping their only two games in Fort Myers.
FGCU Men’s Soccer had a long road trip this past weekend, traveling to Philadelphia to play Pennsylvania, and then to Princeton to face the Tigers. After having played three overtime games (tying University of South Florida, losses against Seattle University/Florida Atlantic University) this year and falling short of a win in each one, FGCU was able to come out victorious in both games this weekend, each ending up in an overtime game winner.
The Eagles’ road trip marked the second consecutive weekend the team was on national television. The Eagles prevailed against Penn on Friday with a 3-2 victory in overtime. Felipe DeSousa made the game-winning goal for the sixth time in his career, tying for the most ever by an FGCU Men’s Soccer player. The goal was his fifth of the season and puts him leading the team in goals.
This was the Eagles first win of the year and helped build momentum as they moved on to face the Tigers of Princeton. DeSousa continued to shine as he assisted Will Suedois, a freshman, on the gamewinning goal. The goal was the first of Suedois’ career, while the assist was DeSousa’s first of the season.
“We were very, very tired and just thoroughly exhausted, but we made some big saves, came up clutch in a few moments and proved to ourselves that we can shut out a team,” head coach Bob Butehorn said of FGCU’s first shutout of the season. “I think the most important item for us was that we shut a team out at its home venue where it hadn’t lost this year.”
After DeSousa’s outstanding weekend, the Atlantic Sun named him the Men’s Soccer Conference Player of the Week for the second time in his two years at FGCU. With 12 goals to his name total in his career, DeSousa is tied for second all-time in goals with this program. The team hopes his contributions to the men’s soccer team continue throughout conference play beginning in the next week.
In goal for the Eagles, Danny George excelled, helping propel the team to victory in both games. Princeton was the second straight start for the sophomore and first career shutout, improving his record to 2-3-1. George made a critical save 80 minutes into the game to keep hopes alive for the Eagles and eventually win the game.
The defending champs begin conference play this Friday as they look to improve their 0-2 home record against Lipscomb University. The Bisons come to Fort Myers with a 4-4-1 record for the year, with a 1-2 record away from home. Following Lipscomb, the Eagles will play Northern Kentucky University at the FGCU Sports Complex on Sunday. Northern Kentucky is currently 3-2-4, with a 1-1-3 away record.
The 2013 FGCU Men’s Soccer team hopes to repeat last year’s conference success, ending the year with a 6-1-1 record and the conference championship. The Eagles have a chance for redemption this weekend as they play the only two teams to put a blemish on their conference record. In 2012, FGCU fell to Lipscomb (3- 1), and tied with Northern Kentucky (1-1), to open conference play.
The Dirty Birds will be out to the FGCU Sports Complex this weekend to watch both rematches and see their Eagles begin conference play. They take on Lipscomb at 7 p.m. Friday and Northern Kentucky at 1 p.m. on Sunday.