North Florida nips top-seeded Eagles in A-Sun men’s soccer semifinal 2-1
For the first time in three years, the FGCU men’s soccer team was not crowned as champion at the Atlantic Sun Conference Tournament. The 2013 season ended for the regular-season champions Friday night after the men fell to the University of North Florida Ospreys in Friday’s tournament semifinal, 2-1.
With a total of 36 fouls, six yellow cards and three red cards, Friday night’s match could be considered one of the most physical games the FGCU Soccer Complex has seen this season. A vicious cycle of penalties plagued the entire game. Players were called on fouls they disagreed with, and continued to take out their frustration on the opposing team, resulting in more fouls.
The Eagles managed to keep the pace of play throughout the majority of the first half despite fouls, frustration and questionable calls. A break seemed to come for the Eagles in the 37th minute when FGCU forward Henry Penagos served the ball to Xavier Silva for a quick shot behind the UNF goal keeper and into the back of the net. An offsides call would terminate the goal and the game would remain scoreless for the rest of the first half.
In the second half, the Eagles allowed a goal to UNF in the 54th minute and again in the 80th, leaving the Eagles down two goals with less than 10 minutes left. With the clock counting down, junior Skylar Wilks sent a long pass to Penagos for a volleyshot over the shoulder of the UNF goalkeeper to close the gap to 2-1. The Eagles had several other close attempts in the final five minutes, but were unable to even the game.
“For us right now need to go back and start working on some things, said FGCU men’s head coach Bob Butehorn in a prepared statement. “This was an experience. We have a lot of young guys and it’s a tough experience, but it’s an experience.”