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#12 FGCU Returns Home, Hosts USF Tuesday

Published: October 10, 2016

Matchup: #12 FGCU (8-2-1) vs. USF (5-5-2)
When: Tuesday, Oct. 11 | 7 PM | Fort Myers, Fla.
Links: Tickets | Video | Live Stats | Twitter
Coaches: Bob Butehorn (10th Season @ FGCU, 89-60-22; 14th Overall, 123-92-26) | George Kiefer (15th Season @ USF, 157-85-49; Same Overall)

FORT MYERS, Fla. – For the first time in three weeks, the #12 FGCU men’s soccer team returns home to face I-75 rival USF Tuesday at 7 p.m. looking to extend the nation’s longest active winning streak to nine in a row.

OPENING KICK
In addition to boasting the longest active winning streak in the nation, FGCU has the country’s most potent offense. The Eagles lead the nation in goals (35, next closest: 29), points (98, next closest: 88), goals per game (3.18, next closest: 2.55) and points per game (8.91, next closest: 7.91).

USF is coming off a 2-0 win Thursday night at home over Tulsa. The Bulls have won five of their last seven games after starting the year 0-3-2. USF began the year ranked #17 and has been either nationally ranked or receiving votes in the polls for all but three matches this year. Half of USF’s 12 opponents this year have been ranked or receiving votes at the time the Bulls played them.

WHAT TO KNOW
What To Wear: Wear blue to create a blueout atmosphere.
Ticket Promotion: All children ages 12 and under are admitted free of charge.
Food Drive: Fans are encouraged to bring canned goods to support the on-campus food pantry.
Concessions: Papa Johns will have a food truck on site offering pizza and beverages for purchase.

STREAKING
FGCU will be looking to set the program record for longest winning streak. The current eight-game stretch is tied with the 2010 and 2012 teams for the longest in program history. Additionally, FGCU has won seven games in a row over non-conference opponents – the longest in program history. USF is FGCU’s final non-conference regular-season opponent this year.

OFFENSIVE STALWART
Albert Ruiz (Barcelona, Spain/ CE L’Hospitalet/UE Cornella) is tied for the 2nd-most goals in the nation this year with 11. His 1.1 goals-per-game average and 2.5 points-per-game average are both the best in the country. Both the goal and point totals (25) are already single-season program records as the previous highs were 17 and seven, respectively. Additionally, Ruiz is tied for the FGCU career record for points (43, Cristian Raudales) and goals (19, Raudales).

With the exception of teammate Arion Sobers-Assue’s (Miami, Fla./DeMatha Catholic HS) eight goals, Ruiz has four more goals than anyone else in the ASUN this year. Additionally, his 25 points are nine more than any other player in the league, again with the exception being Sobers-Assue’s 18.

USF SERIES
FGCU and USF have met each of the past seven seasons, including twice in the 2012 season when the Eagles and Bulls played in the NCAA Tournament. USF owns a 4-2-2 edge in the all-time series, but FGCU is 1-1-1 in the last three meetings following a 2-1 loss at USF last year, a 2-0 win at home in 2014 and 2-2 draw in Tampa in 2013. In 2010, FGCU claimed a 2-1 victory which ended USF’s 30-game home unbeaten streak.

SCOUTING THE BULLS
FGCU and USF share three common opponents this year in Michigan (2-2; 0-0), San Francisco (2-1; 2-0) and UCF (3-1; 2-1) (FGCU score vs. those teams listed first; USF listed second). The Bulls have also played a pair of ASUN members the Eagles have not yet in Jacksonville and North Florida. USF lost at home to the Dolphins, 2-0, and won at home against the Ospreys, 1-0.

USF attempts just 2.75 shots on goal per game, the 4th-fewest in the nation. Nazeem Bartman leads the Bulls with three goals this year, and they’ve all been game-winners. The Bulls have reached the NCAA Tournament in nine of the last 11 years, including an 11-6-3 record and a Second Round appearance last season.

NATIONAL RANKING
The Eagles are ranked #12 in the most recent National Soccer Coaches Association of America Top 25 Poll. A new poll will be released on Tuesday afternoon. FGCU is also ranked #24 in the Soccer America Top 25 Poll (Tuesday release) and #22 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 four-straight ASUN Player of the Week honors in men’s soccer as FGCU collected its fourth in a row earlier on Monday when Shak Adams (Antioch, Tenn./Cane Ridge HS) garnered the award for the first time. The freshman scored his first two career goals, including the game-winner, in the Green and Blue’s 4-1 comeback victory at FIU Tuesday in its lone match last week.

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

RECORD NIGHT
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 Division-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.

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.

ASUN DOMINANCE
While the Eagles will be stepping out of league play against USF, FGCU owns a dominant 37-4-4 record in all ASUN regular-season games since the start of the 2010 season. All four of those losses have come on the road, and out of a possible 135 points that could have been earned in that time, the Eagles have claimed an impressive 115 of them (85.2 percent) en route to an unprecedented six-straight ASUN regular-season titles.

DID YOU KNOW?
FGCU owns the longest home conference regular-season unbeaten streak in the nation at 28 straight (25-0-3). 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.

NEXT UP
FGCU continues its four-game homestand with just its second ASUN match of the year on Friday, Oct. 14, at 7 p.m. versus Stetson.

FGCU Career Records

 

GOALS

 

 

 

POINTS

 

1

Albert Ruiz (14-16)

19

 

1

Albert Ruiz (14-16)

43

 

Cristian Raudales (08-11)

19

 

 

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)

11

 

1

Albert Ruiz (2016)

25

2

Arion Sobers-Assue (2016)

8

 

2

Arion Sobers-Assue (2016)

18

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 123-92-26 (.564) overall record, 89-60-22 (.585) mark in his 10th season at FGCU and 49-17-6 (.722) 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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