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#12 FGCU Looks To Extend Win Streak Tuesday

Published: October 17, 2016

Matchup: #12 FGCU (10-2-1, 2-0-0 ASUN) vs. North Florida (6-3-1, 2-0-0 ASUN)
When: Tuesday, Oct. 18 | 7 PM | Fort Myers, Fla.
Links: Tickets | Video | Live Stats | Twitter
Coaches: Bob Butehorn (10th Season @ FGCU, 91-60-22; 14th Overall, 125-92-26) | Derek Marinatos (5th Season @ North Florida, 38-52-6; Same Overall)

FORT MYERS, Fla. – Looking to extend the nation’s longest winning streak and start ASUN Conference play 3-0, the #12 FGCU men’s soccer team welcomes in-state foe North Florida to the FGCU Soccer Complex for a 7 p.m. kickoff on Tuesday.

OPENING KICK
In addition to boasting the longest active winning streak in the country at 10 in a row, FGCU possesses the nation’s most potent offense. The Eagles lead the nation in goals (44, next closest: 35), points (122, next closest: 103), goals per game (3.38, next closest: 2.69) and points per game (9.38, next closest: 7.92). The point and goal totals are already single-season program records, far surpassing the previous marks of 35 and 108, respectively.

North Florida and FGCU are the lone unbeaten teams in ASUN play as due to an unbalanced league schedule and postponements of games every other team in the conference has played four matches. The Ospreys were tabbed for a 2nd-place finish in the league’s preseason poll – just four points behind the Eagles – and with two 1st-place votes had the same as FGCU and Lipscomb.

WHAT TO KNOW
Whiteout: Wear white to create a whiteout atmosphere.
First Responders’ Night: All first responders and military members and veterans (with ID) are admitted free of charge.

DID YOU KNOW?
FGCU owns the longest home conference regular-season unbeaten streak in the nation at 29 straight (26-0-3). The Eagles have not lost a home ASUN regular-season game in nearly eight years, dating back to a 2-0 defeat against Jacksonville in October of 2008 – the program’s second season.

ASUN DOMINANCE
The Eagles own a dominant 38-4-4 record in all ASUN regular-season games since the start of the 2010 season. Out of a possible 138 points that could have been earned in that time, the Green and Blue have claimed an impressive 118 of them (85.5 percent).

STREAKING
FGCU’s current 10-game winning streak is two better than the previous program record of eight set in 2010 and 2012. Top-ranked Maryland has the second-longest winning streak in the country at eight in a row, but currently no other team nationally has won more than five straight.

ASUN RESET
FGCU opened ASUN play with a 4-1 win at NJIT on Sept. 24 but did not return to league play until last Friday when it delivered a 6-0 victory over Stetson. The Eagles were scheduled to play at Jacksonville on Oct. 8, but Hurricane Matthew forced the game’s postponement until next Tuesday, Oct. 25. Below is a look at the current ASUN standings (each team will play six league matches).

Team

Pts.

Rcd.

NJIT

9

3-1-0

FGCU

6

2-0-0

North Florida

6

2-0-0

Lipscomb

6

2-2-0

Jacksonville

3

1-3-0

Stetson

3

1-3-0

USC Upstate

3

1-3-0

ONE FOR THE OTHER THUMB
By virtue of a 4-0-1 ASUN record last year, FGCU claimed an unprecedented sixth-straight ASUN Regular Season Championship and will be looking to extend that run to seven in 2016. Despite only joining the league and becoming a Division-I member in 2007, FGCU was the first program in the history of the ASUN to claim at least a share of five-straight regular-season titles, let alone six in a row.

ALL-TIME vs. NORTH FLORIDA: 8-1-2
FGCU dominated the early matchups against UNF – and still has a large edge in the all-time series – but the Eagles have only won once in the last four meetings, going 1-1-2 in that stretch. FGCU won the first seven meetings between the two sides, but UNF finally got the better of the Green and Blue on its home pitch in the ASUN Tournament in 2013, claiming a 2-1 win. The teams played to a 2-2 draw in the 2014 regular season before the Eagles defeated the Ospreys in the ASUN Tournament Final, 1-0. Last year, the two sides tied, 1-1, in Jacksonville. Overall, the Eagles have out-scored the Ospreys, 26-3, in their eight wins, and 32-12 in the 11 all-time meetings.

SCOUTING THE OSPREYS
UNF is the 2nd-highest scoring team in the ASUN behind FGCU as the Ospreys average 1.8 goals per game. Milan Kovacs leads that offensive attack with a team-best five goals and an assist for 11 points. The Ospreys also have three other players who have scored three goals each.

The Ospreys employee a two-goalkeeper format in which Juanes Fajardo normally starts the game and Tord Pedersen typically plays the second half and overtime sessions. That has been the case in nine of UNF’s 10 matches this year, with the lone exception being Fajardo playing all 90 minutes at USF on Sept. 14. Fajardo leads the league in save percentage at .765 and goals against average at 0.73.

FGCU and UNF have three common opponents so far this year: FIU, USF and UCF.

FGCU @ FIU: W, 4-1
UNF vs. FIU: W, 4-3
FGCU vs. USF: W, 3-2
UNF @ USF: L, 1-0
FGCU @ UCF: W, 3-1
UNF @ UCF: W, 2-1

OFFENSIVE STALWART
Junior Albert Ruiz (Barcelona, Spain/ CE L’Hospitalet/UE Cornella) is tied for the most goals in the nation this year with 12. His 1.0 goals-per-game average and 2.42 points-per-game average are also both the best in the country. Both the goal and point totals (29) are already single-season program records as the previous highs were 17 and seven, respectively. Additionally, on Friday against Stetson, Ruiz set the FGCU career record for points with 47 (previous: 43, Cristian Raudales) and goals with 20 (previous: 19, Raudales).

With the exception of teammate Arion Sobers-Assue’s (Miami, Fla./DeMatha Catholic HS) 10 goals, Ruiz has five more goals than anyone else in the ASUN this year. Additionally, his 29 points are 12 more than any other player in the league, again with the exception being Sobers-Assue’s 23.

NATIONAL RANKING
The Eagles are ranked #12 for the second-straight week in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America Top 25 Poll (new poll released Tuesday afternoon). FGCU is also ranked #20 in the Soccer America Top 25 Poll (Tuesday release) and #17 in the TopDrawerSoccer Top 25 Poll (Monday release). FGCU entered the NSCAA poll – the only poll the NCAA officially recognizes – for the second time in program history on Sept. 27 at #15.

MORE AWARDS
For the first time in conference history, a team has secured five-straight ASUN Player of the Week honors in men’s soccer as FGCU collected its fifth in a row on Monday when Sobers-Assue garnered the award for the second time. The redshirt sophomore scored twice, including the game-winner, and added an assist for five points in the win over the Hatters on Friday.

It continues an award-winning season for FGCU, which has already this year claimed all of the below individual honors:

Sept. 19: Albert Ruiz, ASUN Player of the Week
Sept. 19: Sawyer Jackman, ASUN Defensive Player of the Week
Sept. 19: Albert Ruiz, College Soccer News National Player of the Week
Sept. 20: Albert Ruiz, TopDrawerSoccer National Team of the Week
Sept. 26: Arion Sobers-Assue, ASUN Player of the Week
Sept. 27: Arion Sobers-Assue, NSCAA National Player of the Week
Sept. 27: Arion Sobers-Assue, TopDrawerSoccer National Team of the Week
Oct. 3: Albert Ruiz, ASUN Player of the Week
Oct. 4: Albert Ruiz, TopDrawerSoccer National Player of the Week
Oct. 10: Shak Adams, ASUN Player of the Week
Oct. 17: Arion Sobers-Assue, ASUN Player of the Week

RECORD NIGHTS
On Sept. 27 at Rutgers, Ruiz scored all three of his goals by the 9:02 mark, and is believed to have recorded the fastest hat trick – in terms of time from the start of the game – in NCAA D-I history. The junior scored at the 5:42, 8:24 and 9:02 marks. The previous record is believed to have been held by Indiana’s Steve Burks, who tallied three goals 11:41 into a contest with Indiana State on Oct. 6, 1973.

With 3:20 between the first and third goals, Ruiz is the 3rd-fastest player to score three-straight goals at any point of a game in D-I history. He is bettered only by Illinois-Chicago’s John Stone, who did it in 2:15 (28:58-31:13) in 1985, and Saint Joseph’s Kyle Patterson in 2:31 (28:02-30:33) in 2007.

In addition to Ruiz’s three goals, Sobers-Assue also scored at the 9:21 mark, giving the Eagles three goals as a team in a span of just 57 seconds. That is the 2nd-fastest in NCAA D-I history at any point of a game, behind only Syracuse’s 43-second span versus Fordham on Oct. 17, 1989.

The Eagles found a way back into that incredible, historical list again last Tuesday night when FGCU scored three goals in a 3:47 span to erase a 1-0 deficit against USF. Those goals came at the 66:03, 66:59 and 69:50 marks, ranking as the 15th-fastest in D-I history for a three-goal span by the same team.

HAT TRICK PARTY
Ruiz is the first player in program history with two hat tricks, and it took just 10 days between them. The first men’s soccer season at FGCU was 2007, and it took until Oct. 31, 2010, for a Green and Blue member to record a hat trick when Scott Harrison finally did it versus North Florida. Nearly six years went by before another occurred, and that happened with Ruiz against UNCW on Sept. 17. It then took just three more days for the third hat trick in program history to occur as Sobers-Assue netted three opposite FAU on Sept. 20.

ANIMO, THOMAS
FGCU lost freshman central defender Thomas Delplace (Toulouse, France/Scientific Bac) for the year with a broken leg suffered just more than three minutes into the Eagles’ match at UCF on Sept. 14. Delplace cut across the box and legally challenged what would have been a quality Knights’ scoring chance, but his shin collided with the attacking UCF player’s leg.

In honor of their teammate, FGCU players have started to wear T-shirts in pre-game warmups with text that reads “Animo Thomas” – which translates to “Cheer Up, Thomas” in Spanish.

NEXT UP
FGCU concludes its four-game homestand with Senior Night on Saturday, Oct. 22, at 7 p.m. against USC Upstate. The home regular-season finale against the Spartans (3-8-0, 1-3-0 ASUN) will be FGCU’s third-to-last match of the regular season as the Eagles will head to Jacksonville for their makeup game on Tuesday, Oct. 25, before concluding the year at Lipscomb on Saturday, Oct. 29.

FGCU Career Records

 

GOALS

 

 

 

POINTS

 

1

Albert Ruiz (14-16)

20

 

1

Albert Ruiz (14-16)

47

2

Cristian Raudales (08-11)

19

 

2

Cristian Raudales (08-11)

43

3

Felipe DeSousa (12-14)

18

 

3

Felipe DeSousa (12-14)

38

4

Henry Penagos (10-14)

13

 

4

Josey Portillo (08-11)

31

5

Scott Harrison (08-11)

12

 

5

Scott Harrison (08-11)

30

 

 

 

 

 

Francesco DiStefano (08-11)

30

FGCU Single-Season Records

 

GOALS

 

 

 

POINTS

 

1

Albert Ruiz (2016)

12

 

1

Albert Ruiz (2016)

29

2

Arion Sobers-Assue (2016)

10

 

2

Arion Sobers-Assue (2016)

23

3

Albert Ruiz (2015)

7

 

3

Deion Jones (2010)

17

 

Felipe DeSousa (2012)

7

 

 

Scott Harrison (2008)

17

 

Cristian Raudales (2011)

7

 

5

Albert Ruiz (2015)

16

 

Deion Jones (2010)

7

 

 

 

 

TICKET INFORMATION
Single-game tickets are available for all remaining home games. More information, including special discounts and group rates, can be accessed by visiting FGCUTickets.com. To purchase tickets, or for additional inquiries, call the FGCU Ticket Office at 239-590-7145 Monday-Friday from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. or log on to FGCUTickets.com.

FOLLOW ALONG
For up-to-the minute information and a behind-the-scenes look at the FGCU men’s soccer program, follow on Twitter @FGCU_MSoccer, Instagram @FGCU_MSoccer, Facebook /FGCUMSoccer and YouTube /FGCUAthletics.

COACH BUTEHORN
FGCU is led by Bob Butehorn, who has coached six professional players and 54 ASUN All-Conference selections since FGCU started its program in 2007. In just five years of postseason eligibility, Butehorn has guided FGCU to three ASUN Tournament championships and NCAA Tournament appearances – in 2011, 2012 and 2014 – and has won an unprecedented six-straight ASUN regular-season championships. His teams have been ranked nationally on several occasions by multiple media outlets. Now in his 14th season as a head coach, Butehorn has a 125-92-26 (.568) overall record, 91-60-22 (.590) mark in his 10th season at FGCU and 50-17-6 (.726) record in ASUN contests.

SUPPORT THE CAUSE
FGCU Athletics sponsors events throughout the year to benefit the FGCU Campus Food Pantry (www.fgcu.edu/foodpantry) and the Harry Chapin Food Bank (www.harrychapinfoodbank.org), FGCU Athletics’ charities of choice. For more information, including how to make a contribution, please visit www.fgcu.edu/foodpantry and utilize the hashtag #FeedFGCU to help raise awareness.

 
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